Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal 370.
(photo credit: Screenshot CNN)
Hamas was not responsible for the terror attack in Tel Aviv the group's leader Khaled Mashaal told CNN in an interview in Cairo on Wednesday.
He added, however, that he believed the attack was a response to IAF strikes in Gaza during Operation Pillar of Defense.
The bomb on a central Tel Aviv bus resulted in 28 people being hospitalized on Wednesday morning in the first such attack in the city since 2006.
"Not Hamas, not others, not other people from, not Hamas. No one can announce except those who committed, not me," Hamas told CNN when asked if the group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Mashaal blamed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for bringing about the attack, "with his crimes, in killing the kids of Gaza, and the continuity of aggression." He told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that she should be directing her question at Netanyahu rather than at him.
Mashaal also discussed with Amanpour the wider Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and repeatedly stated that the Palestinians have been offering peace for years. However, he said, "the offer must come from the attacker, from Israel... not from the victim."
He purported that he accepts a Palestinian state according to the 1967 lines, and was adamant that any agreement must include the right of return for all Palestinians. When probed on how he could say he supported a two-state solution while simultaneously refusing to recognize Israel's right to exists, he replied, "How can I accept Israel? They have occupied my land."
"I need recognition, not the Israelis," he asserted.