Who is Hamas leader Khaled Mashal whose virtual speech in Kerala sparks row? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Who is Hamas leader Khaled Mashal whose virtual speech at Kerala rally sparks row?

Oct 29, 2023 07:25 AM IST

Organisers said many Hamas leaders spoke at Kerala events earlier and Hamas is not banned by India after Khaled Mashal's speech sparked a row.

The virtual participation of Hamas leader Khaled Mashal at a pro-Palestine rally in Kerala's Malappuram has triggered a political slugfest as the BJP cornered the Opposition alliance INDIA over 'anti-national', 'anti-Sanatan' activities and questioned Kerala Police. Several pro-Palestine rallies are taking place in Kerala. The one in which Khaled Mashal participated took place on Friday and was organised by organised by Solidarity Youth Movement, the youth wing of Jamaat-Islami in Kerala.

Screengrab from the Video of the Kerala event in which Hamas leader Khaled Mashal addressed.
Screengrab from the Video of the Kerala event in which Hamas leader Khaled Mashal addressed.

Who is Hamas leader Khaled Mashal?

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  1. Khaled Mashal is a founding member of Hamas politburo and was the chairman until 2017.
  2. For many years, Khaled Mashal was a key leadership figure of the Hamas.
  3. According to a BBC profile, Khaled Mashal was born in the West Bank and brought up in Kuwait and Jordan. He became Hamas's political leader in exile in 2004.
  4. Khaled Mashal never lived in Gaza and operated from Jordan, Syria, Qatar and Egypt.
  5. According to Israel's foreign ministry, Khaled Mashal is now based in Qatar and has a net worth of $4 billion.

Khaled Mashal's virtual speech at Kerala rally

Videos of Khaled Mashal addressing surfaced on social media. "Uproot bulldozer Hindutva and apartheid Zionism" poster was visible in the footage of the event.

State president of the Solidarity Youth Movement Suhaib CT said his participation is not a crime under the law as Hamas is not an organisation operations in India. "He took part in our programme organised to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and to condemn the onslaught by Israel. No need to see anything unusual in that," he said.

“Their leaders have spoken several times to the people in Kerala at programmes in the past. Hamas is a resistance movement. It is a party that has won several seats in elections there,” Suhaib said.

Kerala BJP president K Surendran said it was alarming that under the guise of 'Save Palestine', a terrorist organisation was being glorified. ""Hamas leader Khaled Mashel's virtual address at the Solidarity event in Malappuram is alarming. Where's Pinarayi Vijayan's Kerala Police? Under the guise of 'Save Palestine,' they're glorifying Hamas, a terrorist organization, and its leaders as 'warriors.' This is unacceptable! HMO India," K Surendran wrote.

"It was shocking news to hear...It is tragic and deployable to see that in a secular country like India and in the southernmost state called Kerala a group of Islamic terrorists has shown their real mindset...Everybody knows Hamas attacked Israel in an unprecedented way without notice...," Kerala BJP vice president VT Rema said.

"It is a failure of the state government. To challenge 'Hindutva' here is of grave concern and I urge the state and central government to take it seriously. The people of the country will give an answer to the 'Ghamandiya' alliance, which is protecting such people," BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said.

BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla asked whether the INDIA bloc would condemn this. "Will the Congress party which is part of INDI alliance, condemn this? Why is INDI alliance supporting Hamas who killed more than 700 people? Terrorists are being given platforms. In the name of vote bank politics, terrorists are being given platforms. Using Palestine as an excuse, attempts are made to protect Hamas," Shehzad Poonawalla said.

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