Ismail Haniyah cautions about Israeli plans for another military offensive against the Gaza Strip, reiterating that it is not the Islamic Hamas movement that is after a war.
Hamas is "not looking for more violence," the democratically elected Palestinian prime minster told a visiting delegation from the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza on Wednesday.
Haniyah said he was sure that Israel has plans to target the Gaza Strip once again, recalling the Israeli army’s onslaught against the Hamas-run coastal sliver in January, which left more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, dead and thousands more wounded.
The Palestinian leader, however, expressed hope that his prediction would not materialize, and that "the world will stop Israel from killing more children."
Haniyah also vowed that any Israeli incursion would face strong resistance on the part of the Palestinian nation.
The comments follow a new round of threats from the military officials in Tel Aviv who have said that Israel’s next war would be in Gaza.
In one of his notable remarks, the Israeli military Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi declared that the Israeli troops would return to the Gaza Strip "to fight in the villages, cities, mosques, hospitals, kindergartens and schools because the enemies want to impose this method of fighting against Israel."
This is while Israel is struggling to forestall the prosecution in the International Criminal Court of those officials and officers who launched the Gaza war, as a damning UN report highlighting Israel’s deliberate killing of civilians is finding its way to the UN Security Council.
Hamas has vowed retaliation against any Israeli attack. "Our people will not surrender; they will fight back," Prime Minister Haniyah’s office said, in a statement.