In the wake of increased rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel’s southern population centers, Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar announced an agreement with Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) on Tuesday night.
“There will be no security for the Zionists over and under the land,” Zahar said in a speech in the Gaza Strip as the rockets were being fired at Israel.
“We are prepared to sacrifice our blood for the sake of Palestine, and we advise the Zionist enemy not to play with us.”
Zahar said Hamas and Islamic Jihad had reached an agreement to “unify the weapons of resistance” against Israel.
Earlier this month, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah admitted that the PA was “not in control” of Gaza, meaning that the joint Fatah-Hamas government is in violation of previous treaties with Israel, such as the Oslo II agreements of 1995 and the American-brokered Wye Accords of 1998. Adding PIJ’s collection of 2,000 rockets to the 10,000 Hamas rocket arsenal further increases the number of unauthorized weapons held by Palestinian factions.
The ongoing rocket fire from Gaza, as well as Hamas’s role in the abduction of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrach threaten the Palestinian unity government as they violate Hamas’s reported commitment to stop carrying out terror attacks. An agreement with PIJ would further undermine any Hamas claim to moderation.
In The Big Hamas Elephant, which appeared in the October 2013 issue of The Tower Magazine, Elhanan Miller identified why a Fatah-Hamas unity agreement was doomed to failure: “While Fatah has gradually brought West Bank terrorism to an unprecedented low, Hamas happily allows rockets to fall on Israeli civilians when the political climate is right.”
[Photo: AFP News Agency / YouTube ]