NEW DELHI: Former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal virtually addressed a rally in support of Palestinians organised by a Jamaat-e-Islami Hind-aligned outfit in Kerala‘s Malappuram on Friday, sparking a row. The BJP termed it an “alarming glorification of terrorists” and wondered as to how the Left-governed state allowed it. The organisers, Solidarity Youth Movement (SYM), however, said Hamas is a “resistance movement” and Meshaal a “freedom fighter”.
Meshaal’s pre-recorded video address in Arabic was beamed on a screen at the Youth Resistance Rally, which had the tagline “Uproot Bulldozer Hindutva and Apartheid Zionism”.The organisers had announced that another Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, would also virtually address the rally, but he did not.
Here’s what we know about the former Hamas chief
*Born in the West Bank in 1956, Khaled is considered one of the founders of Hamas.
*Under direct instructions from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel‘s Mossad spy agency attempted to assassinate Meshaal in 1997 while he was living in Jordan.
*Mossad agents entered Jordan with forged Canadian passports and Meshaal was injected with a toxic substance, as per BBC reports.
*Jordanian authorities discovered the assassination attempt and arrested two Mossad members.
*The late King Hussein of Jordan asked Israel’s PM for the antidote for the substance Meshaal was injected with. Facing pressure from then US president Bill Clinton, Netanyahu had provided the antidote after initially rejecting the request.
*Hamas elected Haniyeh to succeed Meshaal as head of its political bureau in 2017, and Meshaal became head of the group’s political bureau abroad.
*The former Hamas chief recently called for protests in front of Israeli embassies across the world after Israel’s attack on a Gaza hospital that killed hundreds of Palestinians.
* Meshaal said the group has a number of Israeli soldiers, held as hostages, which are enough to negotiate releasing all the Palestinian prisoners in Israel.
*Meshaal, who heads Hamas’ diaspora office earlier said Hamas’s Israeli captives include high-ranking officers from the Gaza Division.

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