Hamas Leader Urges Palestinians to Escalate Terror Attacks Across Israel
Ismail Haniyeh

The terror leader called on Palestinians in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria to storm the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount on the first day of Ramadan.

By JNS

Ismail Haniyeh, the Doha-based leader of Hamas’s “political” wing, on Wednesday urged the Iran-led “Axis of Resistance” to step up attacks on Israel during Ramadan, calling for a “broad and international movement to break the siege on Al-Aqsa mosque” in Jerusalem.

“Any flexibility in negotiations, out of concern for the blood of our people, is matched by a readiness to defend it,” Haniyeh said in a speech, referring to ongoing talks for a ceasefire deal with Israel.

The “Axis of Resistance” includes Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Houthis and other Iranian-backed terrorist groups in the Middle East.

In his speech, the terror leader also called on Palestinians in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria to storm the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount on the first day of Ramadan, which falls around March 10 this year.

Haniyeh’s comments came a day after Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned that terrorist groups are plotting to increase their violent attacks on the Jewish state under the guise of Ramadan.

“The main goal of Hamas is to take Ramadan, with an emphasis on the Temple Mount and Jerusalem, and turn it into the second phase of their plan that began on October 7. This is the main goal of Hamas, and it is being amplified by Iran and Hezbollah,” Gallant said following an assessment at the headquarters in Jerusalem’s Neve Ya’akov neighborhood of the IDF Central Command, which is responsible for Judea and Samaria.

“We must not give Hamas what it failed to achieve during the beginning of the war and [let it achieve] ‘unity of the battlefields,’” he added, in reference to the terrorist group’s attempts to spark a multi-front war.

Judea and Samaria saw a dramatic rise in terrorist attacks in 2023 compared to the previous year, with shootings reaching their highest level since the Second Intifada of 2000-05, IDF data shows. The violence has continued to escalate in the months since Hamas started a war with its murderous rampage across the northwestern Negev on Oct. 7.

In his speech on Wednesday, Haniyeh charged that “the occupation [i.e. Israel] and its partner, the United States,” are attempting “to achieve through political machinations what they did not achieve in combat.”

Israel’s War Cabinet on Saturday approved the travel to Qatar in the coming days of a delegation to continue ceasefire-for-hostages talks, after “significant progress” was reported in Paris over the weekend.

The Friday and Saturday meetings built on last month’s initial gathering in the French capital as well as intermittent talks in Cairo aimed at realizing a proposal to free the remaining 134 Israelis being held by Hamas in exchange for an extended pause in the war.

The parties reportedly want to close the deal in the next two weeks, ahead of the start of Ramadan.

However, Army Radio on Wednesday reported that Hamas derided the proposed outline as “a Zionist document” and objected to the fact that it did not call for a permanent end to the IDF operation in Gaza, among other demands made by the terrorist group.

The U.S.-drafted proposal reportedly provides for a six-week pause in fighting, during which Hamas would free some 40 hostages in exchange for approximately 400 Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel.

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