On Friday, the former Hamas leader called for global demonstrations in favor of Palestinians and urged Arabs in surrounding countries to take up guns against Israel.
Khaled Meshaal, Hamas’s leader from 2004 to 2017, urged the Islamic world to join the rallies.
“[We must] head to the squares and streets of the Arab and Islamic world on Friday,” Meshaal said in a recorded statement sent to Reuters.
Meshaal is based in Qatar, where he serves as the head of the Hamas diaspora office.
“To all scholars who teach jihad … to all who teach and learn, this is a moment for the application [of jihad],” he said.
Meshaal specifically called on the governments and peoples of Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan to join the fight against Israel, characterizing their involvement as a duty.
“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,” he said.
Outside of Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria have the largest Palestinian populations.
Demonstrations supporting both sides of the conflict have cropped up around the world daily, with many resulting in violence in city streets between Palestinian and Israeli sympathizers.
The rallying cry came as Israeli forces continued to strike the Gaza Strip in response to Hamas’s devastating surprise attack over the weekend, which killed about 1,200 Israelis, took over 100 hostages, and injured 2,700.
It was the bloodiest attack on Israel in 75 years, with Hamas terrorists storming the country by land, sea, and air, slaughtering men, women, and children indiscriminately as they raided border villages.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Wednesday that he will convene an emergency war cabinet with political opponents as part of a pledge to unite the country in response to the assaults and focus all efforts on retaliating against Hamas.
In retaliation, Israel continues to strike Hamas with rockets and fighter jets.
Overnight, more than 200 sites in Gaza City were hit, and the territory remains under “total siege” from Israel.
According to Gaza officials, the retaliatory bombings killed 1,100 Palestinians and injured over 5,000 more.