Hamas must forcibly liberate Jerusalem, the terror organization’s leader, Khaled Meshaal, said during a phone conference from Turkey on Tuesday, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reports.
Telling reporters during the conference that Hamas’s military was the only way to “liberate” the city, he said that steps must be taken to spark a violent uprising against Israel as it attempts to strengthen its “occupation” of Jerusalem.
Meshaal was in Ankara to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Senior Israeli officials told Ma’ariv they have learned that Meshaal is planning to visit Iran in the coming weeks. The officials said that talks in the country would revolve around strengthening ties between the two sides.
In the past Iran has been a patron of Hamas, but relations have soured due to the terror organization’s hesitation to back the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war. Iran supports Assad and has been aiding him militarily in the nearly three-year-old conflict that has left more than 100,000 people dead, including those who lost their lives in an alleged chemical weapons attack that nearly triggered a U.S. strike in Syria.