Fears surge as ex-Hamas leader calls for Muslim world to mobilise for 'global day of jihad' against Israel

Khaled Meshaal

Ex-Hamas leader calls for Muslim world to mobilise and join fight against Israel

Oliver Trapnell

By Oliver Trapnell

Published: 12/10/2023

- 15:40

Updated: 13/10/2023

- 08:13

The former terrorist leader told Muslims across the world to mobilise

A former Hamas leader has called for Muslims across the world and for the peoples of neighbouring countries to join the fight against Israel.

Khaled Meshaal called for protests across the Muslim world on Friday in support of the Palestinians.

“[We must] head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday, the Friday of Al Aqsa Flood,” Meshaal, who is currently the leader of Hamas's diaspora office, said in a recorded statement.

Meshaal said governments and peoples of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt have a bigger duty to support the Palestinians.

WATCH NOW: Former Hamas leader calls on Muslims to mobilise

“Tribes of Jordan, sons of Jordan, brothers and sisters of Jordan... This is a moment of truth and the borders are close to you, you all know your responsibility,” Meshaal said.

Jordan and Lebanon are home to the largest number of Palestinian refugees.

His call came as Israel vowed to escalate its response to an attack by Hamas with a ground offensive, after Israeli fighter jets struck more than 200 targets in Gaza City overnight on Wednesday.

Gaza's health ministry said at least 950 people have been killed and 5,000 injured in the crowded coastal enclave.

Israel-Hamas conflictMore than 1,000 people died in Saturday's terror attackREUTERS

On Saturday, Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip rampaged through parts of southern Israel, in the deadliest Palestinian militant attack in Israel's history.

“To all scholars who teach jihad... to all who teach and learn, this is a moment for the application (of theories),” Meshaal said.

He continued: “Deliver a message, through the squares and the streets, a message of anger, that we are with Palestine, that we are with Gaza, with Al Aqsa, with Jerusalem, and that we are a part of this battle, this is first. Second Gaza is calling you for help, with relief and money, with whatever you own, whoever can help, this is the moment of truth.”

“What should we answer? We are facing truth, and here I say clearly, without hesitation, this is the moment for the (Arab) nation to join in the fight, to fight with them.”

Israeli military vehicles and soldiers from an artillery unit gather near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, in southern IsraelIsraeli military vehicles and soldiers from an artillery unit gather near Israel's border Reuters

It comes as as many as 360,000 IDF reservists headed to the Israeli border in preparation for a potential land invasion.

Fears have erupted that the entire region could be dragged into the conflict after both Syria and Lebanon fired missiles over the border into Israel.

On Tuesday, Lebanese officials confirmed six rockets were fired in Israel from the south of the country.

Israeli military officials also said shells were launched from Syria, and said its soldiers had retaliated by firing “toward the origin of the launching in Syria”.

In a fiery speech on Tuesday, the Israeli PM said: “Hamas will understand that by attacking us, they have made a mistake of historic proportions.

“We will exact a price that will be remembered by them and Israel’s other enemies for decades to come.”

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