A top Hamas official warned Wednesday that if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas continues pressuring the Gaza-based terrorist group to submit to the PA, “it’s going to explode in his face and in all directions,” news agencies reported.
Abbas will fail to impose his authority over Gaza “if he tries to make Gaza kneel or expects to win our loyalty by force,” Khalil al-Haya, the second highest ranking Hamas leader in Gaza, told the Associated Press.
“You can’t punish the one who lives in tough conditions,” al-Haya warned. “Gaza is an explosive barrel and he [Abbas] cannot press this barrel more. If he does, it’s going to explode in his face and in all directions.”
Abbas is believed to be attempting to assert control over Gaza ahead of his meeting with President Donald Trump in Washington next week, where he will be under pressure to demonstrate that he is the leader of all Palestinians.
Al-Haya also spoke of a new Hamas manifesto that is to be announced this coming Monday. The new document states “clearly that the conflict is not a religious one, that there is no enmity toward Jews as Jews but that we are fighting the occupation,” he said.
Kobi Michael, the former head of the Palestinian desk at Israel’s Ministry for Strategic Affairs, cautioned that Hamas is “trying to use the sort of language that will be more accepted by the international community.” However, he noted that the Islamist group “will not change their methods — the use of terror and the use of violence against Israeli citizens.”
Hamas showed earlier this year that it will continue to reject cooperation with Israel, even if it comes at the expense of Gaza’s residents.
Hamas confirmed in February that it shot down Israel’s offer to grant significant economic aid to Gaza, which was contingent on the terrorist group releasing three Israeli hostages and the bodies of two soldiers. Less than two weeks later, Hamas rejected an offer by Israel’s defense minister to create jobs and build infrastructure in Gaza in exchange for demilitarization.
[Photo: Associated Press / YouTube ]