Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday met Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and former chief Khaled Mashal in Qatar, expressing solidarity with the people of Palestine amidst ongoing bombardment of Gaza by Israel.
In a statement posted on X, formerly Twitter, the JUIF said Fazl had conveyed his condolences and expressed solidarity with the people of Palestine during his meetings with the Hamas leadership. Quoting Haniyeh, it said he had called for Muslims to unite in the face of Israeli aggression. “It is the Muslim Ummah’s responsibility to unite against Israeli atrocities,” he said.
Mashal, meanwhile, stressed that ongoing atrocities in Kashmir and Palestine had exposed the human rights advocates of Western states. He also appreciated Fazl’s efforts for the Palestine cause, maintaining that the JUIF chief was playing the role of Palestine’s ambassador in Pakistan.
According to the JUIF statement, Fazl agreed with the views of the Hamas leaders, adding the Western world had the blood of innocent children and women on its hands.
The JUIF’s visit to Qatar to meet the Hamas leadership was kept secret, with his party only making it public after his meeting. According to local media, this was aimed at ensuring the politician could examine the ground realities and offer aid in a personal capacity. According to the JUIF, he provided food and medicines for the people of Palestine during his visit.
The Israeli bombardment of Gaza commenced on Oct. 7 after Hamas infiltrated southern Israel, killing 1,400 people and injuring more than 3,000 others. Israel’s retaliatory strikes—with the full backing of the U.S. and Europe—have thus far killed at least 9,922 Palestinians and injured more than 25,000 others. Israel is increasingly coming under pressure over its ongoing targeting of hospitals, mosques, churches and residences, with critics condemning the “war crimes” and demanding the global community act to prevent further atrocities. However, Tel Aviv remains undeterred, with a senior minister over the weekend threatening to “drop a nuke” on Gaza, suggesting calls for a humanitarian ceasefire are unlikely to be heeded.