The Hamas terror group praised the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan on Monday, calling it “a victory that came as the culmination of more than 20 years of struggle.”
In a statement, the terror group said it “congratulates the Afghani Muslim nation for the downfall of the American occupation in all Afghani territory.”
The Taliban, a fundamentalist Sunni Muslim insurgency in Afghanistan, completed its conquest of the country on Sunday as the United States made a hastily executed withdrawal from the capital, Kabul. The long American-led war effort ended much as it began 20 years ago: with the Taliban ruling Afghanistan.
Many Sunni terror groups, such as Hamas, the Taliban, and al-Qaeda, have similar ideological roots, provide one another with aid, and share some regional patrons. Qatar, for example, has played host to the exiled leadership of both Hamas and the Taliban in Doha.
Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh reportedly met the Taliban’s leaders following the May conflict between Hamas and Israel, although neither group publicly confirmed the contacts.
Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk implicitly drew parallels between the Taliban’s fight against the American-backed Afghani government and Hamas’s fight against Israel in a tweet on Monday night.
“The Taliban are victorious today after being accused of backwardness and terrorism. They emerge today as a smarter and more realistic movement. They confronted America and its agents, and refused to compromise with them. They were not deceived by bright headlines about ‘democracy’ and ‘elections,'” he said.
Hamas leadership in a meeting with Taliban leadership in Qatar after the recent war between Israel and Gaza last May pic.twitter.com/8EBijaH9QV
— Gal Berger גל ברגר (@galberger) August 16, 2021
Abu Marzouk, who serves as the deputy chief of Hamas’s diaspora division, is widely seen as a hardliner within the terror group.
“This is a lesson for all oppressed peoples. Will they learn the moral of this story?”Abu Marzouk said.
Islamic Jihad also congratulated the Taliban on their conquest of Afghanistan, which the Palestinian terror group called “the liberation of [Afghani] land from the Western and American occupation.”
“It has been the Muslim people which has performed the greatest jihadist heroics against all invaders over the course of their honorable history,” Islamic Jihad said in a statement.
In Ramallah, most officials have not issued public comments on the Taliban takeover. But Palestine Liberation Organization committee member Ahmad Majdalani condemned the group in a post on his Facebook page, saying those celebrating the so-called “victory of the resistance” were shortsighted.
“The Taliban is the same Taliban — the dark and brutal force that produced the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda. And when it comes to any form of extremism and terrorism, it is the Arab and Islamic peoples, first and foremost, who have ended up paying the price,” wrote Majdalani.