World has wrong image of Hamas: Leader
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World has wrong image of Hamas: Leader

Exiled political leader of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, has said that the world has the wrong image of Hamas and asked it to stop seeing the group through the eyes of Israel.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 14:08 IST

KhaledMashaal, exiled political leader of Hamas, has said that the world has the wrong image about Hamas,and called on the world to stop seeing the newly elected Palestinian representatives through the eyes of Israel.

"We believe that most of the leaders in Europe and in the West have a wrong image about Hamas because this image doesn't reflect us. It reflects how some people, especially Israel, see Hamas," Mashaal said.

"We want the world, especially the countries in the West, to understand us, to understand Hamas well, to understand the will of the Palestinian people, and also the national goals of Hamas and the Palestinian people," he added.

"Everybody in the world says that. I know, I know," said Mashaal, and dismissed any immediate caving in to pressure on those demands.

Hamashas given no indication that it will change its ideology, but it has said that it would stick to a long-term cease-fire if Israel reciprocates.

He said the world needed to understand that Israeli occupation started the problem.

"The first step is the occupation. Our people in Palestine are suffering. This suffering pushes our people in Palestine to defend themselves against the occupation and against the aggression of Israel," Mashaal said.

"The international community must pressurize Israel to recognise our right to get freedom, to fight against occupation, to have real peace and legitimacy on our ground," Mashaal added.

First Published: Feb 18, 2006 14:08 IST