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Hamas: Situation in West Bank similar to lead-up to Gaza war

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)
Frame grab from senior Hamas' official Mahmoud al-Zahar's interview of April 24, 2022 with Iran's al-Alam television network

A senior Hamas official has hit out at the Palestinian Authority (PA) for fraternizing Israel.

"There are two approaches among the Palestinians. A major part resists the occupying regime, but the other front, namely the Palestinian Authority, is Israel's mercenary and has normalized its relations with the regime," Mahmoud al-Zahar, a member of the Gaza Strip-based movement's leadership, told Iran's al-Alam Arabic-language television on Sunday.

The first front, he said, is ready to make all sacrifices to expel the occupying regime from the entire Palestine, but the latter does not believe in Palestine's liberation.

'Sword of al-Quds could repeat itself'

The official said the escalation of the situation in the occupied West Bank is similar to the lead-up to the Sword of al-Quds Operation last year.

The operation saw Gaza's resistance groups rising up in arms in support of the Palestinians, who were bearing the brunt of the Israeli aggression in the West Bank.

The official, meanwhile, reminded how the operation, during which the resistance groups fired thousands of rockets into the occupied territories, managed to scuttle the Israeli regime's security doctrine.

Al-Zahar said Arab countries' failure to back up Palestine in the face of the Israeli regime and the West's all-out support of the regime led to the emergence of a new status quo in Arab relations with Israel.

The official was apparently referring to some regional Arab states' decision to normalize ties with Tel Aviv through United States-brokered deals, which Palestinian groups slammed as a "stab in the back" of Palestine.

"The situation has, however, drastically changed. There was a time when they used to say that the West Bank is weak, while today the experiences of Gaza are repeating themselves in the West Bank," he said, pointing to Palestinians' uprising against Israeli aggression in the occupied territory.

Ukraine crisis bearing on pro-Israeli countries

The Hamas official said the oil crisis after the war in Ukraine has significantly changed the situation of the countries, which used to support the Israeli regime.

"The countries that used to support the Israeli regime have now been afflicted with weakness and bewilderment," he said.

'Fatah still glorifying security cooperation with Israel'

Al-Zahar dismissed allegations that the ruling Fatah party, which runs the Palestinian Authority, has undergone any changes.

"Fatah's official authorities still regard security cooperation with Israel as sacred," he said, noting that the same officials used to denounce the Gaza resistance group's military operation against the occupying regime.

Situation in Yemen

Addressing the issue of Yemen, where the Saudi-led coalition and the Yemeni defense forces have been observing a truce, al-Zahar said the situation in the impoverished country has changed.

"Those, who used to take up arms against the resistance in Yemen, have begun partaking in negotiations and launched efforts towards reconciliation."

The regional countries, which have normalized their relations with the Israeli regime, as well as the West have fallen short of achieving their goals in Yemen, he noted.

'PA stonewalling Palestine's liberation'

Returning to the Palestinian Authority and its dealings with the Israeli regime, al-Zahar said the body is stonewalling Palestine's liberation through its security cooperation with Tel Aviv.

As part of the security cooperation, the Authority relays information about pending anti-Israeli operations to Tel Aviv, he added.

US incapacity in the face of Russia

The official turned to the issue of US incapacity in the face of Russia.

"The US that used to attack Iraq and Syria has been incapable of firing a single bullet at Russians," he said.

This is while Ukraine depends on the US and was supposed to join the Western military alliance of NATO, al-Zahar said.

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