Hamas’ armed wing said on Thursday that Israel’s decision to annex parts of the occupied West Bank “a declaration of war against Palestinian people.”
“We will make the enemy bite its fingers in regret for such a sinful decision,” said Abu Ubaida, spokesman of the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades.
In a televised speech, Ubaida stressed that “Qassam will not speak much and will say what is clear for the occupation to understand.”
He affirmed the resistance movement’s commitment and pledge to hold a prisoner exchange deal with Israel, noting it was a priority for his group.
He also pointed out that no deal will be made without the release of senior prisoners and prisoners with Israeli blood on their hands.
“The resistance will be the loyal and dutiful guard of the people throughout this war, acting in defense of our people, our land and our holy sites.”
The Qassam’s threats came two days after Hamas’ call for a massive “popular revolution” throughout Palestinian territories and the Arab and Muslim worlds to thwart Israel’s unilateral annexation plan.
Tel Aviv fears the situation could escalate in the Gaza Strip and possibly in the West Bank, and worries that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is trying to drag Hamas to clash with Israel.
Sources said that the cessation of security and civil coordination may affect the payment of salaries and the flow of goods to and from Gaza, stoking tensions in the already-tense coastal enclave.
Israeli security forces are concerned that an escalation in the Strip could coincide with an intifada in the West Bank.