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Hamas leader: Muslim struggle needed to ‘free Jerusalem’

On state visit to Turkey to meet Erdogan, Khaled Mashaal says current talks between Israel, PA endangering ‘Holy City’

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, seen during a meeting with Khaled Mashaal, Hamas' then chief in exile, center, and Gaza-based leader Ismail Haniyeh in Ankara, Turkey, on June 18, 2013. (AP/Yasin Bulbul, Prime Minister's Press Office)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, seen during a meeting with Khaled Mashaal, Hamas' then chief in exile, center, and Gaza-based leader Ismail Haniyeh in Ankara, Turkey, on June 18, 2013. (AP/Yasin Bulbul, Prime Minister's Press Office)

Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Mashaal called for Arabs and Muslims worldwide to come up with a strategy for countering what he called the “Judaization” of Jerusalem and the danger to the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the hands of Israel.

The Muslim world must prepare for a struggle with “the enemy” to “free” the city, he said.

Mashaal was speaking in Ankara at a press conference following a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Hamas leader, who is currently living in Qatar after leaving Syria due to his organization’s support for anti-Assad rebels, added that the current peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are increasing the danger to Muslim Jerusalem.

No Arab leader has the right to negotiate over Jerusalem, he insisted.

Erdogan and Mashaal last met in June. Hamas’s Gaza-based Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and several other members of Hamas’ political wing also attended that meeting.

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