Israel had accused Hamas movement, which has been ruling the Gaza Strip since June 2007, of trying to get more arms and weapons to the salient to use in carrying out attacks against Israeli territory.
“It is the right of Hamas to have all kinds of weapons to defend itself,” Zahar said. “If Israel carries out another war in the future, it should think thousand of times before carrying out a war.”
He said that Israel “exaggerates that armed organizations have various kinds of weapons to find an excuse to strike again on the Gaza Strip.”
Meanwhile, Zahar affirmed that there are contacts between his movement and Western countries “due to the growth of Islam. We speak with the west using the same honest language that we use with everyone.”
He denied that his movement had held direct contacts or talks with officials in the U.S. administration, “but we speak to non-official American and Western figures, and we welcome anyone who wants to speak to us.”
Earlier Thursday, Zahar told Reuters the West was floundering in immorality and had no right to criticize Hamas over the way it the Gaza Strip, saying the West should be “ashamed of supporting Israel, You cannot support the foundation of Israel. Don’t you care about the assassination of people here?”
Zahar told Reuters in an interview that Islamic traditions deserved respect and he accused Europe of promoting promiscuity and political hypocrisy.
“We have the right to control our life according to our religion, not according to your religion. You have no religion. You are secular,” said Zahar, who is one of the group’s most influential and respected voices.
“You do not live like human beings. You do not [even] live like animals. You accept homosexuality. And now you criticize us?” he said earlier this week, speaking from his apartment building in the densely populated, Mediterranean city.