Hamas leader’s brother Yahya Sinwar said in an interview that last year’s conflict with Israel had created new rules and that Gaza had used rockets in central Israel.
Muhammad Sinwar, a senior commander in Hamas’s military wing, made the remarks in an exclusive interview with the Qatari channel Al-Jazeera on Friday.
Tensions are running high at the moment, with Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups threatening an annual march planned by nationalist Israelis in the Muslim quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. Palestinians have long viewed the procession as provocative.
Subscribe to our free daily edition via email so you don’t miss any of the great news free registration!
A rocket attack by Hamas in Jerusalem in March 2021 sparked an eleven-day conflict, dubbed “Operation Guardian of the Wall” in Israel. The Hamas-led terrorist group has fired thousands of rockets into Israeli cities, prompting Israel to launch intense airstrikes on terrorist targets.
“When we warn Israel, our words are weighed and matched with a working reality,” Sinwar said of the current tensions and threats. “We know how to hit Israel and put pressure on it. A
He says Hamas has created “new equations”, knows Israel’s weaknesses and “knows how to put pressure on it.”
“For us, rocket launches in Tel Aviv are easier than drinking water,” Sinwar said, claiming that Israel had repeatedly tried to eliminate him.
Referring to the May 2021 conflict, Sinwar said Hamas had tried to kidnap Israeli soldiers with the aim of using them as hostages in exchange for prisoners, but the operation had failed and 18 Hamas fighters had been killed. Sinwar did not provide details.
He further added that Israeli tactics had failed to convince people of an impending ground incursion into Gaza by throwing Hamas fighters from the sky into an underground tunnel.
“None of us were injured on the occasion,” Sinwar said of the large-scale operation, dubbed the “Underground,” of hundreds of kilometers of tunnels dug under the Gaza Strip by Hamas.
He added that a joint command center of Palestinian military groups in Gaza had met during clashes with Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Officers from the next two groups were also at the Gaza Strip Command Center, Sinwar said.
During the interview, Al-Jazeera released a video of Hamas snipers targeting an IDF watchtower, as well as a photo of an IDF vehicle taken by a Hamas drone in Israel. A Hamas rocket-firing commander told the station that the head of the military wing, Muhammad Daef, had personally ordered the rocket launch in Jerusalem at 6 pm, paving the way for an 11-day war. Intense fighting.
Sinwar said that at the very end of the conflict, Hamas planned to launch more than 360 rockets into 14 Israeli cities, including Haifa, Tel Aviv, Dimona and Eilat. Egypt mediated to get a ceasefire.
Sinwar claims to have been involved in the abduction and detention of Gilad Shalit, an IDF soldier abducted by Hamas during a cross-border operation in Israel and held captive in Gaza for five years. Shalit was finally released in 2011 in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.
Sinwar’s interview was broadcast as his brother Yahya called the former jailer Hamas leader a “coward”, accusing him of being a cruel and ruthless man who chose to give up “dirty work.”
Yom Yerushalayim commemorates the 1967 six-day war from Jordan to the old Israeli city and the conquest of East Jerusalem. It is celebrated publicly by national-religious Jews, mostly young people, who march in the capital to dance and wave the Israeli flag.
The usual March route, which leads to the Muslim quarters before reaching the Damascus Gate, East Jerusalem and then the West Wall, is seen as a provocation by Palestinians and many Israelis.
Although the March route does not lead to Temple Mount, both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group have threatened to retaliate for any “desecration” of the holy site.
Israel has decided to keep their regular routes on foot.