In a first response to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, Hamas on Monday welcomed the move as a “victory” and congratulated the Afghan people for “defeating” the US.

“We congratulate the Muslim Afghan people for the defeat of the American occupation on all Afghan lands, and we congratulate the Taliban movement and its brave leadership on this victory, which came as the culmination of its long struggle over the past 20 years,” Hamas said in a statement.

“While Hamas wishes the Afghan Muslim people and its leadership success in achieving unity, stability and prosperity for Afghanistan and its people, it stresses that the demise of the American occupation and its allies proves that the resistance of the peoples, foremost of which is our struggling Palestinian people, will achieve victory.”

In a post on Twitter on Sunday night, Musa Abu Marzouk, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, wrote: “Today Taliban is victorious after it used to be accused of backwardness and terrorism. Now, the Taliban is more clever and more realistic. It has faced America and its agents, refusing half-solutions with them. The Taliban was not deceived by the slogans of democracy and elections and fake promises. This is a lesson for all oppressed people.”

Recently, Hamas released photos of a meeting between its leader, Ismail Haniyeh, and a delegation from the Taliban. The meeting reportedly took place in the Taliban office in Doha, Qatar, where Haniyeh has been based for the past two years.

According to a Palestinian journalist in the Gaza Strip, the Afghan delegation “congratulated” the Hamas leader on his group’s “victory” in the 11-day war with Israel last May.

The journalist said he expected increased cooperation between Hamas and Taliban after the “liberation” of Afghanistan. “The victory of Taliban emboldens the Palestinian resistance groups, including Hamas,” he said. “This shows that the US and its allies can be defeated despite their military capabilities.”

Several Palestinians took to social media to celebrate what they described as the US “defeat” in Afghanistan. Some posted comments and photos congratulating “the heroes of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” on the “liberation” of the capital, Kabul.

PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani, on the other hand, scoffed at those who are celebrating the Taliban’s “victory.”

Majdalani said that all those who are rejoicing over the “victory of the resistance over American Imperialism need to be reminded that the Taliban entered Kabul without facing resistance from the Afghan army in accordance with the Doha agreement that was signed with the Taliban last year regarding the withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan.”

Majdalani denounced the Taliban as a “dark and brutal force that produced ISIS and al-Qaeda and all forms of extremism and terrorism.” He said that the Arabs and Muslims were the first to pay the price for this extremism and terrorism.”

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