Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, threatened the Jewish state with a new terror intifada during a high-level meeting in the Lebanese capital Beirut on Saturday.
Al-Arouri who met with Jamil Mazhar, deputy secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) to coordinate attacks against Israel, vowed to “return to the intifada in order to achieve national unity and the settlement of the Palestinian home on national and democratic bases.”
صور: لقاء بين قيادتي حركة حماس والجبهة الشعبية برئاسة صالح العاروري وجميل مزهر في بيروت للتأكيد على تصعيد المقاومة ضد الاحتلال ولدعم الجهود المبذولة لوقف إطلاق النار في مخيم عين الحلوة في لبنان. pic.twitter.com/jGwg44sbm3— شبكة فلسطين للحوار (@paldf) September 16, 2023
Israel’s military and intelligence services are currently on high alert due to the Jewish high holidays.
The two terror organizations reportedly also assessed the combustible situation in the restive Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon following recent clashes between local militants. The local fighting has claimed the lives of at least 17 people and wounded approximately 100.
Hamas and PFLP both affirmed their ambition to facilitate a ceasefire in the neighborhood with their joint effort to prevent internal infighting.
It is not the first time that al-Arouri has threatened the Jewish state. In an interview with al-Aqsa Voice in August, al-Arouri warned the Israeli government against resuming targeted killings of senior officials.
“The leaders of the occupation government, with their extremist policies, will cause an all-out war in the region,” al-Arouri warned.
“Some in the cabinet are considering actions such as taking control of al-Aqsa Mosque and dividing it, along with assassinations, knowing that this would lead to a regional war,” he added.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has increasingly warned that Iran and its terrorist proxies would pay the price for the growing coordination of terrorist attacks against Israelis in the West Bank, known as Judea and Samaria.
However, Hamas has vowed to continue its “resistance,” which is code for armed conflict against Israel.
“The occupation's threats to eliminate us do not frighten us. We are not afraid of their threats and are ready for martyrdom, just like the rest of our people. We will not stop the resistance,” stated al-Arouri.
The fundamentalist Islamist organization Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip and its approximately 2 million residents since its violent takeover of the Mediterranean coastal enclave in 2007.
However, the Hamas leadership has ambitions that extend far beyond Gaza, as it is increasingly investing resources in turning the West Bank into a new active terror front against Israel. This goal serves two political purposes. By attacking Israelis, Hamas enhances its image as a “force of action” compared to the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is frequently accused of “collaborating” with Israeli authorities.
In addition, Hamas seeks to increase its political influence in the West Bank by undermining and challenging the authority of its PA rival in Ramallah.
While Hamas is primarily driven by its own interests, its anti-Israel agenda is increasingly converging with the Iranian ayatollah regime’s wider regional shadow war with Israel. This has resulted in a growing cooperation between Hamas, Iran and its terror proxies, such as Hezbollah.
In early September, Hassan Nasrallah, head of the pro-Iranian Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, met with al-Arouri and PIJ (Palestinian Islamic Jihad) Sec.-Gen. Ziyad al-Nakhalah. The purpose of the high-level trilateral meeting was reportedly to discuss the “political developments, especially in Palestine, with a joint assessment of the situation in the West Bank and the escalation of resistance movement there, as well as the recent Israeli threats.”
The ayatollah regime in Tehran is investing considerable resources in coordinating the action of previously divided regional anti-Israel players into a united multi-front war against the Jewish state.
However, at the same time, Iran and its terror proxy Hezbollah are trying to deny their growing influence in the West Bank.
“The Israeli enemy, in the face of the escalation of resistance in the West Bank, fled to accuse Iran and to pretend that what is happening there is an Iranian plan and that the Palestinians there are tools, and this is foolishness,” Nasrallah said.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.