Sources in Gaza have warned Israel that terror groups in the Palestinian enclave are preparing for possible confrontations, including firing rockets, if the Israeli nationalist flag parade takes place next Sunday.
“The armed wing of Hamas is on high alert and ready to carry out the orders of the leadership for a possible confrontation with Israel if the flag parade, scheduled for the 29th of [Sunday]is moving very close to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall Plaza,” a source in the Gaza Strip said Monday.
The source said the military wing is now on high alert, recruiting militants, checking communications systems and preparing outposts. He stressed that “this is not an empty threat”.
According to the source, the threats made on Sunday by Hamas Politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh at the “Sword of Jerusalem – Unity of the Uma and the People” conference in the Gaza Strip made it clear that the firing of rockets on Israel should be the answer to the traditional parade of the Israeli flag on Jerusalem Day.
Haniyeh stressed that the “resistance” would confront the march of the Israeli flag and respond by all means, and called on his people to prepare.
“We are following the threats to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque on May 29 and are organizing a march of flags, which were torn down by resistance rockets a year ago.”
Rising tensions last year, culminating in the Jerusalem Day parade, led to Hamas firing rockets into Jerusalem and the ensuing Gaza war, while Muslims rioted for days in cities across the country.
“Our decision is clear, don’t be confused, we will confront and never allow Al-Aqsa to be harmed,” he warned.
Another source in the Gaza Strip said Egyptian mediators were on high alert and Egyptians were also critical of Israel’s intention to allow the flag parade to pass through the Old City.
Jerusalem Day celebrations, marking Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War and the reunification of East and West Jerusalem, include a parade in which tens of thousands of Israelis march with flags in the city center, then in the old city on entering it. through the Damascus Gate. The parade and its planned route have been approved by all relevant security bodies in Israel. The walk does not, and has never included, the Temple Mount.
“Hamas is now giving the last chance to Egyptian mediation,” the Gaza source said, but “Hamas is in a situation where it has to prove the consistency of its threats and its statements and its actions on the ground, and prove that what its senior officials have said is not meaningless. »
A Palestinian source, relying on messages from the military wing of Hamas, said that “the strategy of the organization remains and is always based on military pressure and long-term attrition alongside dispersal [of attacks] in all Palestinian arenas fighting in Israel while leaving the Strip out of the conflict,” adding that the military arm believes in a limited response, or an attack by one of the other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, which does not will not harm deep within Israel will serve this strategy and will not lead Israel to a meaningful military response.
Referring to the question of the Gaza Strip’s involvement in an upcoming conflict, the Gaza Strip said that Hamas is committed to the Iranian-led “Jerusalem axis” and is supported by the Iran in its threats against Israel by launching a regional campaign outside the Gaza Strip. .
Senior Hamas figures recently spoke about launching a regional campaign, saying that in the next round of fighting Israel from the Gaza Strip, outside forces will also participate alongside terror groups in Gaza.
The new axis was created a year ago, following the recent war in Gaza, and with its creation an internal Hamas debate over joining Iran ended, with the military wing deciding to support Iran. Hamas says the war has awakened “sleeping fronts” and that the “Jerusalem Axis” should participate in the next round of fighting and launch rockets into Israel.
One of the tasks of the extremist axis is to break the naval blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip. In Yahya Senwar’s recent surprise speech, the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip said that Hamas would soon begin coordinating the lifting of the siege with the help of the “Jerusalem Axis”.
A Hamas source in the West Bank said there was an agreement among all factions in the Gaza Strip for “a very significant response” against Israel if the flag parade passes near the mosque in East Jerusalem.
“If the march goes through al-Aqsa Square (Wailing Wall), Hamas will launch rockets and even if mediators urge it to prevent escalation, other factions will launch their missiles,” he said. , pointing to Islamic Jihad.
The Islamic Jihad organization has sent a message to Israel through mediators that the flag parade on Jerusalem Day is a “provocative and aggressive move that will have a response”. The Gaza Strip believes that even if mediators urge Hamas not to escalate the situation, it is likely that Islamic Jihad will fire rockets at Israel if the flag parade passes through the Old City. “Islamic Jihad has pledged to respond to the assassination of the senior Iranian official both under expected pressure from Egypt and at the cost of dragging Hamas into another campaign against Israel.
On Sunday, the Palestinian Authority presidency warned against the “provocative flag march” and the decision of the Israeli trial court to allow Israelis to pray on the Temple Mount.
A Palestinian Authority source said that “if the march continues, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have no choice but to respond militarily, and to this must be added the fact of the assassination of the Iranian colonel responsible for Hezbollah’s missile tanks in the past, as a factor that will lead to regional escalation if Hamas opens a front in the south.”
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry opposed the court’s decision allowing prayers for Jews on the Temple Mount and said “the decision is null and void and violates all international laws regarding Jerusalem, and constitutes a dangerous violation of the historical and legal status quo existing in the Al-Aqsa Mosque.The kingdom does not recognize the jurisdiction of the Israeli courts over occupied Jerusalem.The mosque throughout its territory is a place of worship reserved for Muslims.
A source in East Jerusalem said: “I believe that the Israeli government will not implement the court decision that allows Jews to pray on the mountain, because this decision means a coup against the Hashemite tutelage, and in this case, the government cannot bear the heavy responsibility of creating a dangerous escalation.