Hamas Chief in Gaza Warns Israel After Botched IDF Operation: Don't Test Us Again

Yahya Sinwar displays gun he claims was taken from Israeli force whose commander was killed during operation, vows that another incident would lead to Israeli captives

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Yehiyeh Sinwar, the Hamas militant leader in the Gaza Strip, in Gaza City, May 10, 2018
Yehiyeh Sinwar, the Hamas militant leader in the Gaza Strip, in Gaza City, May 10, 2018Credit: Khalil Hamra / AP
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar spoke Friday in Khan Younis at an event honoring Palestinians killed in a recent clash with Israeli special forces, warning Israel not to test his organization again.

Sinwar referred to the incident in which an Israeli officer and seven Palestinian were killed during an Israeli special operation, saying, "this time you managed to leave with dead and wounded; next time we will release our prisoners from the jails and there will even be soldiers left in our hands."

>> Gaza incident was a botched Israeli military op, but not an assassination attempt | Analysis

Sinwar was photographed waving a gun and silencer that he claimed was given to him by Mohammad Deif, the head of Hamas' military wing, after it was retrieved from the Israeli forces. Sinwar further said that Hamas possesses footage of the incident and of the evacuation of the officer who was killed.

"The Israeli enemy has understood that our calm in recent years was not meaningless," he said, adding that in the latest round of fighting "the rocket fire was measured but in larger numbers and with much more powerful warheads."

Sinwar said he had spoken with Deif, who had asked him to deliver the message that Hamas and the other armed Palestinian factions "are determined to break the siege and to provide respectable lives to the Palestinian people in Gaza."

He also said that the steps Israel has agreed to take as part of negotiations toward a long-term cease-fire – the Qatari-funded delivery of fuel to Gaza, the payment of officials' salaries, and assistance for needy families – will not make Gaza residents "sell Palestinian blood." The Israeli leadership is "living in an illusion" if it believes otherwise, he said.

>> Netanyahu and IDF vs. Israeli ministers: How Gaza war was avoided at last minute | Analysis

Sinwar said that in the West Bank, there are militants "no less brave than in Gaza," but, he said, they are "constrained because of the security coordination" between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. "In Gaza, we strike the Israelis and don't fix their tire punctures," he said, referencing a recent incident in which the Palestinian police chief in Hebron was documented helping Israeli soldiers change a tire.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel

ISRAEL-VOTE

Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism