Hamas Calls for West Bank 'Day of Rage' to Counter 'Settler Aggression'

Despite the cease-fire in Gaza, the militant group calls on Palestinians to hold mass marches on Friday and 'clash with settlers who are trying to set facts on the ground,' as group says it has made progress in prisoner talks

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Yahya Sinwar, Palestinian leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, greets supporters at a rally in Gaza City, last week.
Yahya Sinwar, Palestinian leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, greets supporters at a rally in Gaza City, last week. Credit: John Minchillo,AP
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Hamas called on Tuesday for a "Day of Rage" in the West Bank on Friday, to protest what they term settler aggression in the region and in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Although the militant group has reached a cease fire with Israel in the Gaza Strip, its members have been pushing to continue its anti-Israel activities in the West Bank.

In a message to Palestinians, Hamas called to "Set out to large marches at every point of tension, block streets that pass through the West Bank and clash with settlers who are trying to set facts on the ground under the auspices of the government."

On Monday, Yahya Sinwar, Hamas' leader in the Gaza Strip, said that the organization is prepared for immediate, expedited negotiations with Israel to free the captives the group is holding in the coastal enclave.

"Remember the number 1111 – you'll find out what it means soon," Sinwar said. "There has been movement regarding the prisoners' case until recently, but that was halted due to the Israeli government's instability."

Sinwar added that in the coming days, there will be talks held in Cairo with the goal of reaching particular agreements. Hamas has been holding two Israeli civilians, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, and the bodies of two soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul captive in the Strip.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel met at Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence. A statement from the premier's office said that during their discussion, he brought up Israel's demand to return the Israelis and the bodies of missing Israeli soldiers held in Gaza, and that the two talked about different systems for ensuring that Hamas cannot enrich itself from the effort to rebuild the Strip.

Also Sunday, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi met with his Egyptian counterpart in Cairo amid efforts to organize a future summit with the participation of Palestinian officials. Ashkenazi said during discussions that Israel will not allow the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip until a solution is reached regarding the Israeli captives.

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