Khaled Meshal, the "political" leader of Hamas, bragged at an Al Jazeera forum in Doha that Hamas has doubled the number of weapons it owns in Gaza since the 2014 war.
Speaking on the topic of "Palestinian resistance and the transformations of the Arab Spring," Meshal said "Hamas has many times the weapons than it had two years ago, due to the strong will of the Palestinians." He said this occurred despite the blockade Israel imposed on Gaza.
Meshal attended the forum with Gaza Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
Whether he is telling the truth or not, it will be interesting to see if there is any reaction to this speech by Gazans, Israelis, human rights NGOs, Arab leaders and the international community.
Meshal is effectively telling Gazans that Hamas prioritizes weapons replenishment over getting them electricity, building materials and other goods that they need. Does the average Gazan share those priorities? Why isn't Hamas smuggling in things that Gazans need?
Meshal is telling NGOs that Hamas doesn't care about Gaza unemployment or dependency on aid by outsiders. In fact, the external aid is helping Hamas focus its priorities on acquiring arms. How should Doctors Without Borders or Oxfam react when they are being told that their helping Gazans allows Hamas to abdicate its responsibility towards its people?
Meshal is telling Israelis (and Egypt) that despite the limits on goods going to Gaza, Hamas is managing to re-arm. Will this make Israel and Egypt become more or less likely to loosen up its restrictions on materials into Gaza?
This supposedly moderate and pragmatic Hamas leader is telling the Arab leaders that Hamas' main priority is to kill Israeli Jews, not to help its own people. Yet Arab nations have pledge billions to help Gaza. Will this make them more or less likely to pay their pledges?
Finally, Meshal has re-affirmed Hamas' terror goals. Will this make the world leaders think twice about helping an enclave where their aid is indirectly enabling terror?