Hamas Leader Refuses to Give Guarantees Not to Escalate against Israel

Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh (Photo: Mohammed Asad, via MEMO)

The head of the political bureau of Gaza-based group Hamas refused on Monday to give guarantees not to escalate the situation with the Israeli army in the Palestinian Territories, The New Arab reported.

Ismail Haniyeh reportedly told Qatari and Egyptian mediators, who are currently overseeing indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel, that “what happened in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque by the settlers will not be tolerated.”

In a press statement issued by Taher al-Nono, Haniyeh’s advisor, the Hamas leader stressed that the resistance will continue its path to liberate Palestinian lands under the Israeli occupation.

Haniyeh’s statements came in response to recent contacts made by the Egyptian and Qatari mediators with Hamas in order to reach an agreement to not allow the situation to further deteriorate and stave off a new military conflict on the besieged Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, thousands of Israelis launched an annual, extremist ‘flag march’ through occupied Jerusalem, chanting “Death to Arabs” and insulting the Prophet Mohammed, as well as attacking Palestinians in the area.

Dozens of Palestinians were injured by the Israeli occupying army and Jewish settlers, who used rubber bullets, truncheons and pepper spray, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

Around 3,000 Israeli police were deployed to the event which marks the start of Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem, home of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

“The Palestinian armed factions were ready to launch a barrage of missiles into Israeli settlements, including those in Jerusalem, in response to the unprecedented settlers’ provocations,” a source close to Hamas, who preferred not to be unnamed, said to The New Arab.

However, the source stressed that the resistance’s leadership received reliable information that “the Israeli government led by Bennett was deliberately dragging the coastal enclave into a military escalation in a bid to get rid of internal pressures on it.”

The source explained that the resistance decided not to trigger a new round of military conflict with Israel “but that does not mean that it will not have a response to the Israeli violations that took place in Al-Aqsa yesterday.”

“The resistance has a strong ability to respond to such violations and crimes at the right time and place,” the source added.

Official sources in Gaza expected that the resistance factions will “ignite the West Bank and Jerusalem” by encouraging popular resistance in the Palestinian territories while preserving the right to respond from the Gaza Strip in the event that the situation “becomes out of control”.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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