Hamas: Expelling West Bank Leadership Would 'Open Gates of Hell'

Hamas says Palestinian Authority's continuation of security coordination with Israel a crime which violates reconciliation understandings.

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh gestures before delivering a farewell speech for his former position as a Hamas government prime minister, Gaza City, June 2, 2014.
Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh gestures before delivering a farewell speech for his former position as a Hamas government prime minister, Gaza City, June 2, 2014. Credit: Reuters
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that if Israel realizes its threat of expelling Hamas heads from the West Bank to Gaza, Israel would be "opening the gates of hell.'

In a press conference held in Gaza, Abu Zuhri said Hamas is able to contend with Israel, adding that this would be made clear to Netanyahu in the coming days.

He also called the continuation of the security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel a crime and a severe violation of the Cairo agreement, which served as the basis for Palestinian reconciliation agreement.

The PA president's positions, said Abu Zuhri, do not reflect the ones held by the Palestinian public - or even the ones held by Fatah prisoners and casualties.

"The Intifada is the greatest event in the history of the Palestinian people, and it renews itself every time there is an escalation in Israel's aggression. Resistance through every channel is the legitimate right of the Palestinian people, to liberate the land, the holy places, and the prisoners."

Abu Zuhri demanded the Palestinian unity government take responisibility, and protect Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza, and called on Arab nations, Islamic nations, and the rest of the international community to "stop Israeli aggression."

Abbas condemns 'collective punishment' policy

Meanwhile, Abbas' office condemned in a statement what it deemed Israel's policy of collective punishment in the West Bank and especially in the Hebron region, where it said Israel is imposing a siege on tens of thousands residents who have nothing to do with its security concerns,

The statement also condemned the arrests being made by Israel, including those of the prisoners released as part of the Shalit deal.

"The policy of collective punishment imposed by the Israeli government is a violation of the international law, and calls for intervention on behalf of the international community, not only in verbal condemnation, but by applying pressure on Israel, in every means possible, so it stops its illegitimate, inhumane policy. "

Abbas' office also condemned the drive to legalize the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners. "The Palestinians remain committed to the peace process and a just solution, but do not accept that this commitment be used as a cover for the continuation of Israel's policy of repression and aggression towards the Palestinian people.

One week since kidnapping

The statements came exactly one week since three Israeli teens were kidnapped while hitchhiking in the West Bank. Israeli security forces have since rounded up 280 Palestinians as part of Operation Brother's Keeper, a massive effort to return the teens.

More than 50 of those arrested were among the 1,027 prisoners freed by Israel in 2011 as part of an exchange deal to free Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip.

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