The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
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‘It is the same Jihad in Palestine, and it will completely end the occupation’

(Part I)

The Islamic Emirate state-run Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) recently conducted an interview in Arabic with Hamas spokesman Husam Badran. The agency also published this interview with a Pashtu-language voiceover on YouTube on February 24, 2024. Speaking about the Gaza war, Badran says: “In many countries, the spirit of jihad has increased among the people” following the October 7, 2023 Hamas attack in Israel, and adds: “The biggest goal of the Israeli occupation is to spread the war to other countries.” As presented in the Pashtu version of the interview, Husam Badran discusses the ongoing war in Palestine, Hamas’s relations with different countries, movements, and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), the likely terms of a ceasefire with Israel, and the impact of the Gaza war on the region. Based in Kabul, and established in 1939 by the Government Press Department of Afghanistan, BNA is the official state news agency of the Islamic Emirate. It publishes domestic and international news, interviews, reports, and articles in the Pashtu, Dari, English, Arabic, Urdu, and Russian languages. Following are excerpts from the interview: “You know that Hamas, Hizbullah, and the Houthis are active in three different geographies and each in a different situation, but in terms of fighting Israel, our goal and theirs are the same” Journalist Rehan Al-Afghani: “How confident are you in your power? Husam Badran: “We are confident in our power. We have prepared in Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades all the things that are necessary for the war… We have used all our facilities and plans in this fight. We made our own weapons, and in technical and military affairs, we have benefited from the advice of engineers. And despite all this, we are the owners of the right and land in this struggle, both of these [right and land] make our success even stronger.” Journalist: “In spite of so many civilian casualties, why do the United States and the United Nations support Israel financially and politically instead of imposing sanctions?” Husam Badran: “This war revealed what we knew, namely the lies of international institutions and the duplicity of the United States. But unfortunately, these institutions are under the influence of the West and Israeli occupiers. And when Palestinians and Muslims, in general, are victims, these institutions ignore them and generally support this occupation. And despite the fact, they are fighting with the Palestinians. “Look, we are the victims in this case. They have invaded our land, while we have not invaded any country. But the Israeli occupation has come from all countries to occupy Palestine, but we will not go back from our position in the political arena… But unfortunately, many international institutions stand behind the oppressors and murderers against the Palestinians.” Journalist: “Are you, the Houthis, and Hizbullah fighting for the same goal?” Husam Badran: “You know that Hamas, Hizbullah, and the Houthis are active in three different geographies and each in a different situation. But in terms of fighting Israel, our goal and theirs are the same… We establish relations with all sides; whether they are countries or different political movements, our relations with them are based on the struggle against Israel. The more they help us in this area, the stronger our relationship will be. “Hizbullah’s role in this regard was very clear, especially in aiding, engaging the enemy, and keeping the war hot in southern Lebanon. Then came the Houthis; they tried their best to disrupt the international traffic of the ships related to Israel…” “The U.S. provides billions of dollars in intelligence and military aid to Israel, but it has a negative role regarding Palestine; so, it can be said that this is a joint war of America and Israel” Journalist: “It is believed that because of your attacks, Israel is carrying out the current atrocities and massacres. Have the Palestinian people distanced themselves from your actions?” Husam Badran: “The responsibility for all the martyrs and victims rests only with Israel. Occupation is the main cause of all these; and this occupation is the cause of all chaos and injustice in our region… In the last 20 years, 25,000 of our people have been martyred… Therefore, the whole case should be clear to the entire Afghan nation and the world that the Israeli occupation is the cause of all the troubles, and Israel is responsible for all the blood that has been or will be shed.” Journalist: “What is the negative or positive role of America in the ongoing war in Gaza?” Husam Badran: “Without a doubt, America does not play a positive role in the Gaza war, and you know very well from experience that America does not play a positive role. But its role is positive for those countries that were in the interest of America. The negative role of America became clear on the first day of this war, which started providing all-round support to Israel, and transporting aircraft and warships, and giving weapons and ammunition every day to kill the oppressed Palestinians and did not delay this work even for a day, or that America uses the right of veto to prevent the condemnation of Israel in the United Nations. “In this regard, it uses the veto for its own benefit. Therefore, it can be said that the U.S. provides billions of dollars in intelligence and military aid to Israel, but it has a negative role regarding Palestine. So, it can be said that this is a joint war of America and Israel.” “Our Hamas position is clear; when this [Two-State] solution was presented, we rejected it at that time… Because this solution takes away our rights to the historical lands that the Israeli occupation has taken since 1948” Journalist: “How do you evaluate the two-state solution? What are your conditions and what are the obstacles to reaching this goal? And how is it possible to overcome these obstacles?” Husam Badran: “First of all, I would like to say that the twostate solution is not a Palestinian solution. Rather, this solution has been imposed on Palestine by arrogant Western countries, and its main purpose was to eliminate the struggle that is still going on in the Palestinian lands. Our Hamas position is clear; when this [two-state] solution was presented, we rejected it at that time, and we did not agree because this solution takes away our rights to the historical lands that the Israeli occupation has taken since 1948. “But, if we come to this solution, it has not been implemented yet for more than 20 years, and the biggest reason is the Israeli occupation, which day by day usurps the Palestinian lands and builds its own colonies, and they do not know anything in the name of Palestine… Israel thinks that we are not the people of this country, and we are not even human…” Here, the journalist asks about human rights organizations and their role, especially asking what have these institutions done so far for Palestine. Husam Badran: “This war exposed the lies and deceit of these [human rights] organizations, and human rights… are only for Western countries and not for anyone else… The Western organizations are talking about women’s rights in Afghanistan; well, if they want rights for women in Afghanistan, where are the rights of Palestinian women who are killed directly and intentionally in the media every day…” “We tell them that this is a golden opportunity because many countries think that Israel is a power that will never be defeated, and it is in their interest to establish relationship with Israel; but we proved to the whole world that these occupiers are incapable of defending themselves” Journalist: “What do you expect from Muslims, especially Arabs? What have they done to help you? Husam Badran: “[Different]… nations stand with us based on their capabilities; we trust a lot in Arab nations, and they certainly stood with us in all the wars against the Israeli invaders. But I can tell you this much about the countries that each country has its own thoughts and policies; that is why we are in contact with many countries, openly and secretly, and our goal is to attract aid to Palestine. “We tell them that this is a golden opportunity because many countries think that Israel is a power that will never be defeated, and it is in their interest to establish relationship with Israel. But we proved to the whole world that these occupiers are incapable of defending themselves… this is a good opportunity for all countries to reconsider their interaction with Israel.” Journalist: “What will be the future effects of the current war on the security of the region and the Middle East? Husam Badran: “As I said, the greatest and most profound effects are on Palestine, and these effects gradually spread to countries in the region such as Lebanon, Yemen, and so on. Another thing is that in many countries, the spirit of jihad has increased among the people, and this also has a great impact on the security of the countries. The biggest goal of the Israeli occupation is to spread the war to other countries… Israel is responsible for destroying the security of the entire region…” “I would like to say that we do not negotiate with Israel; this is not part of our policies, but the negotiations are usually done through mediators, that is, indirectly” Journalist: “Will Israel be able to destroy Hamas?” Husam Badran: “This has been the dream of the occupiers for many years. The leaders of the occupation, led by Ariel Sharon, Yitzhak Rabin, and others, always said that we hope to wake up one day and find Gaza swallowed by the sea, and the Hamas movement has been destroyed… Today they admit that it is impossible to destroy Hamas, even America says this in the media. The second reason is the power we have, and we are the sons of this nation, and we are not new in this region.” Journalist: “Under what conditions will you sit at the negotiating table with Israel?” Husam Badran: “First of all, I would like to say that we do not negotiate with Israel. This is not part of our policies, but the negotiations are usually done through mediators, that is, indirectly. Everyone knows that this war is the most useful and important for us, but to tell the truth, this war is not a war of complete freedom, and also, we are not at this stage [to sit at the negotiating table]. “That is why we are trying to establish a permanent ceasefire as soon as possible so that all these massacres and atrocities end. And the other conditions are that the Israeli forces must completely withdraw from the Gaza Strip, and all doors should be opened for humanitarian aid; and finally, there should be a full exchange of prisoners. If the grounds are favorable for these conditions, then without a doubt we are ready to talk.” “We are trying to build good relations with the Islamic Emirate, and we hope that these relations will be strengthened in the future and play a good role in the case of support for Palestine” Journalist: “What do you expect from the Islamic Emirate?” Husam Badran: “First of all, allow me to offer my best wishes and greetings to the people of Afghanistan and the Emir Al-Momineen [Mullah Hibbatullah Akhundzada] and the leadership of the Islamic Emirate because they have always strongly supported the case of Palestine. The case of Palestine is not new for Afghans, and even though the people of Afghanistan were engaged in war with their enemies, they still have not forgotten the people of Palestine. “If there were not so much geographical distance between Palestine and Afghanistan, Afghans might have played an important role in the case of Palestine from different aspects.

To be Continued

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.