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Hamas Informs Mediators it Doesn't Want New Conflict in Gaza

Hamas Informs Mediators it Doesn't Want New Conflict in Gaza

Sunday, 17 April, 2022 - 07:45
Palestinian Hamas and "Islamic Jihad" supporters protest following clashes at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa Mosque compound between Israeli police and Palestinians, east of Gaza City, 15 April 2022. (EPA)

The Palestinian Hamas movement is not seeking escalation in the Gaza Strip, revealed informed sources.

Hamas held a meeting with the "Islamic Jihad" group, which was on the verge of carrying out an escalation, they told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Hamas warned the group that the political situation and time are not right for a new confrontation in the coastal enclave, which is ruled by the movement.

The time is not right for a new conflict in Gaza due to the humanitarian and economic situation in the Strip and the world's preoccupation with the Ukrainian Russian war.

The sources said Hamas officials wanted to spark a confrontation with Israel in Gaza in wake of the tensions between Palestinians and Israelis in Jerusalem to exhaust the Jewish state.

Hamas decided, however, to rein in this impulse, but it warned mediators that it could change its position if the violations at the al-Aqsa continued.

The movement cannot stand idly by as the situation unfolds in Jerusalem, it stressed, according to the sources.

The mediators have pressed Hamas against escalating the situation in Gaza, asking that the factions wait for calm to be restored in Jerusalem.

Hamas, in return, demanded that Israel halt its assault on Jerusalem and the West Bank. Israel said it does not want escalation, while blaming Palestinians for stoking tensions in Jerusalem.

Hamas on Friday said no truce agreement had been struck with Israel.

Politburo official Izzat al-Rashq stressed that the movement has always been clear in informing mediators that Jerusalem and al-Aqsa were "red lines."

He revealed that Hamas was contacted by several countries in the region and the United Nations chief, who feared the movement would resort to escalation in Gaza due to Israel's ongoing violations in Jerusalem.

The movement stressed to them that it was not seeking a new war in Gaza, but it was closely monitoring the situation and "it has its finger on the trigger".

"We are one people and if our holy sites are violated, then our people throughout the territories will carry out their duties in defending them," he remarked.

On Friday and Saturday, Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh held phone calls with Egyptian, Qatari and Omani officials and the UN to discuss the situation at the al-Aqsa.

Meanwhile, Morocco, whose King Mohammed VI chairs the Al Quds Committee under the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, voiced its strong condemnation of the Israeli raid of the compound and the attack on unarmed worshippers.

"This blatant aggression and methodical provocation during the holy month of Ramadan against the sanctity of the mosque and its place in the heart of the Islamic Ummah will only fuel feelings of hatred and extremism and destroy the chances of reviving the peace process in the region," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Dr. Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Adviser to the UAE President, stressed his country’s condemnation of Israeli violations in al-Aqsa.

In a tweet, he said that resorting to violence will only hamper joint efforts to reach a political solution to establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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