Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban spokesperson who has been the face of several media interactions, claimed he was duped into talking with an Israeli news reporter from Kan News when he said all minorities, including the last jew in Afghanistan, will be safe under the Taliban regime. 

Shaheen said he had no idea that he was speaking to someone from an Israeli news organization. When Shaheen spoke over video with journalist Roi Kais at Kan, the Israeli broadcaster, Kais named his network but did not tell Shaheen that he or it was Israeli.

Several hours after Kan’s video went viral, Shaheen tweeted that he hadn’t understood who he was speaking to. The Taliban has a history of supporting al-Qaeda, which routinely makes threats against Israel and uses anti-Israel rhetoric in its propaganda.

“I do many interviews with journalists every day after the falling of provincial centers of Afghanistan and the capital Kabul to the Islamic Emirate,” Shaheen wrote on Twitter. “Some journalists maybe masquerading but I haven’t done interview with any one introducing himself he is from an Israeli media.”

In the interview, Shaheen said the Taliban would protect non-Muslim minorities within Afghanistan, including Zebulon Simantov- who is the last Jew living there, whom he said he did not know. He also said the Taliban does not have ties to Hamas. 

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Rhea Sovani

Author Rhea Sovani

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