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Hamas warns Israel: Raids on Gaza strengthen our resolve to defend Quds

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Israeli policemen stand guard outside the Aqsa Mosque as a group of religious Jews visit the Temple Mount. (Photo by AFP)

Hamas says Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip will only strengthen the resolve of the resistance movement to support and defend fellow Palestinians in occupied al-Quds against the regime’s acts of aggression.

Hazem Qassem, a Hamas spokesman, was reacting to a new round of Israeli airstrikes against Gaza on early Thursday, which the regime said were launched in response to a rocket attack from the direction of the blockaded coastal sliver.

“The bombardment of Gaza only reinforces the persistence of Palestinians and the resistance [movement] in their fight [against Israel] and support for our people in occupied al-Quds,” al-Mayadeen quoted Qassem as saying.

Tensions between the Palestinians and Israelis have witnessed a sharp rise since the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, as Israeli forces have stepped up raids of al-Aqsa Mosque, assaulting Muslim worshipers inside prayer halls and providing protection to the Israeli settlers desecrating Islam’s third holiest site.

The Israeli crimes have sparked widespread condemnation from Muslim countries as well as warnings for an outbreak of a new war with Gaza.

Meanwhile, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh delivered a stern warning to Israel over its acts of aggression in occupied al-Quds, saying, “We are still at the beginning of the battle.”

In a statement on Thursday, Haniyeh said that the occupiers are under a delusion that they can change the Islamic status quo of al-Aqsa Mosque through occupying the holy site.

He stressed that all actions of settlers in al-Aqsa Mosque will strategically bring the conflict to the frontline of affairs, while “the realities remain unchanged.”

The Hamas leader warned that what the Israelis are doing in al-Aqsa would shorten their existence and that they will eventually be expelled from the Palestinian lands.  

Haniyeh said that the Zionist flag march faced failure and so will the raids on al-Aqsa Mosque.

On Wednesday, several hundred extremist Israelis planned a “flag march” through al-Quds flashpoints to slam the Tel Aviv regime’s failure to deal with the Palestinians and affirm their presence in the occupied Palestinian city and its holy sites.

Alarmed by the increasing Palestinian rage, the Israeli police stopped the march.

In a televised interview with Arabic news channel Al-Alam on Wednesday, a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad resistance group in Gaza, Ahmed Al-Modallal also said the resistance is fully prepared to launch a new operation to defend as-Quds.

Operation al-Quds Sword, he added, still remains before the eyes of both Israel and the Arab regimes that have entered a shaky coalition with the occupying entity.

He was referring to the operation that Gaza-based resistance forces launched last May in defense of their Palestinians in al-Quds against Israel’s atrocities and desecration of the al-Aqsa Mosque.

During that operation, Palestinian resistance groups overwhelmed the Israeli regime by firing over 4,000 rockets and missiles into the occupied territories.

Shocked by the unprecedented barrage of rockets from Gaza, Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire on May 21, which Palestinian resistance movements accepted with Egyptian mediation.

Modallal said what is happening in al-Aqsa is a battle to defend history, geography and beliefs and is one of the toughest blows that the occupiers will suffer in their confrontation with Palestine.

In turn, Abu Mujahid, the spokesman of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), which is a grouping of armed Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza, also said on Wednesday that the deterrent force of the resistance in the coastal enclave and the uprising of the Palestinian in occupied al-Quds will impose new conflict rules on the occupying Israeli regime.

The failure of the Zionist “flag march” to reach Bab Al Amud and enter the old city of al-Quds, was a “double victory” in the battle against the Zionist regime, he added.  

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine also announced that it holds the Israeli regime responsible for the consequences of an escalation of military aggression against Gaza.

In press statements on Wednesday, Sheikh Ekrima Sa’id Sabri, the preacher of the al-Aqsa Mosque and former Grand Mufti of al-Quds, warned Israel that it was “playing with fire” by securing the incursions of al-Aqsa by its settlers.


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