GAZA – Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar has promised that if a new war begins, the group’s forces will make Israel evacuate not only the settlements near the enclave border, but also some of its main cities, such as Ashdod, Ashkelon, Negev and Tel-Aviv.
“We are ten times stronger than we were in 2014 [Israeli-Gaza conflict],” he said.
At the same time, Sinwar noted that Israel “will only suffer” if the war is “imposed” against the Gaza Strip. He promised that in this case, Hamas would act as “shield and sword” for the inhabitants of the region.
In recent months, Israel has repeatedly bombarded Hamas positions in Gaza in response to missile launches from the enclave’s territory. Despite numerous ceasefire understandings reached, the conflict has been constantly restarted.
The border between the Gaza Strip and Israel was shaken by protests known as the Great March of Return for more than a year, leading to hundreds dead and leaving thousands injured. Palestinian protesters say they are fighting the Israeli “occupation”, but Tel-Aviv insists the protests are organized by Hamas as a cover.
According to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), the organization uses demonstrations to infiltrate Israeli territory and carry out attacks on its citizens.
Tensions in the area rose recently as Palestinian militants fired a rocket into Israel’s densely populated center, which reacted by bombing dozens of objects in the Gaza Strip. The armed confrontation lasted from 25 to 27 March.
The IDF reported that five missiles were launched against Israel from the Gaza Strip. The rockets would have fallen into open territory without causing damage or injury.
After the attack, the IDF announced that they had responded by bombing several Hamas military posts with tanks and artillery.
Fearing that the event would turn into a full-scale uprising, the Israelis sent large forces into the enclave and expressed their willingness to take decisive action.