Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, speaking to Charlie Rose in a clip aired Monday on CBS This Morning, said he is ready to coexist with the Jews, but refuses to live with the “occupiers,” comparing them to the British during the American Revolution.
"We are not fanatics; we are not fundamentalists,” Meshaal said. “We do not actually fight the Jews because they are Jews per se. We do not fight any other races. We fight the occupiers."
He went on to say that he doesn’t believe the world has kept a fair view of the Arab-Israeli conflict. "Unfortunately the world doesn't blame the Israelis."
While Meshaal reiterated Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel, he added that this was an issue that Palestinians would deal with when they had their own state.
“When we have a Palestinian state, then the Palestinian state will decide on its policies,” Meshaal said. “But you cannot actually ask me about the future. I answered you. But Palestinian people can have their say, when they have their own state, without occupation.”
Since 2007, when the Palestinian territories split with the Hamas takeover of Gaza, the coastal strip has been periodically under a land, sea and air blockade enforce by Israel. The West Bank, on the other hand, is home to ever-increasing Israeli settlements.
Last week, Hamas said it would not accept any cease-fire proposal that did not put an end to the Israeli blockade.
"As a Palestinian, I want to be liberalized [i.e. liberated],” Meshaal said. “I want to live without occupation."