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In leaked recording, Hamas deputy leader calls for calm in Gaza in order to intensify resistance in the West Bank

Hamas hopes to inflame situation between Israel, PA during Ramadan

Palestinian gunmen and mourners attend the funeral of three Palestinians killed in a shootout with Israeli security forces in the West Bank village of Jaba, Mar. 9, 2023. (Photo: Nasser Ishtayyeh/Flash90)

In a recording leaked to Israel's Kan news agency, Hamas military branch commander Saleh al-Arouri called for restraint in Gaza during the month of Ramadan in order to inflame tensions in the West Bank. 

“From a strategic point of view, the development of the resistance in the West Bank needs restraint in Gaza,” al-Arouri said in the recording. 

The Hamas commander said Palestinians in the territories have been calling for Hamas to join in their resistance, but added that “strategic interests” have prevented them from doing so. 

“But if we’re talking strategically, and from the perspective of proper leadership of the campaign – so that the campaign in the West Bank will develop and advance – it is necessary for Gaza to control itself,” al-Arouri said. 

The Hamas commander indicated that Gaza’s instruction to maintain calm is only temporary. 

“When the resistance in the West Bank escalates and reaches the necessary level, the conflict will almost certainly expand to all of Palestine and beyond,” he said. 

Hamas has already said that the month of Ramadan will provide an opportunity to increase resistance and put more pressure on Israel and the Palestinian Authority. 

A member of the Fatah militant group associated with the PA told Kan news that Hamas is fighting not just against Israel but also against the PA. The Fatah member also said that Hamas is taking advantage of the bad situation in Palestinian areas. 

“It’s a gift that the authorities are giving to Hamas,” the source said, adding that Hamas is winning the people's support on social media. 

“Hamas is making a strong use of this [weakness] in the media,” he said. 

While Hamas considers the PA a political enemy, it is focused on its fight against Israel. 

“In the future, the resistance in the West Bank may come to the point of broad confrontation with the Zionist enemy, and God willing, an opportunity will arise here, for the first time, to strike a big strategic blow against him,” al-Arouri said in the leaked recording.  

Israel and the PA met for a security summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Sunday, where they reportedly agreed on several measures to try to keep calm during the Jewish holiday of Passover in early April and the Muslim month of Ramadan that starts Wednesday evening. 

Hamas condemned the meeting, with Hamas leadership board member Ali Baraka saying that the PA’s participation at the summit “comes in violation of the Palestinian national consensus.” 

He also said that stopping tensions was wrong, and attributed the tensions to Israel’s “aggression and occupation.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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