Hamas’s chief in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, declared Sunday that “no power in the world” would be able to stop the ongoing surge in Palestinian violence against Israel.
Haniyeh, who acts as Gaza’s de facto political leader, said in a televised address to a demonstration in Beirut that Palestinians “in the field” embodied national unity, and called for it to be cultivated on a political level, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.
“No power in the world will succeed in putting out the al-Quds Intifada,” he said, using an Arabic term meaning “Jerusalem uprising” to describe the current surge in Palestinian terrorism and Palestinian-Israeli clashes.
“We are ready for political and popular unity at all levels and willing to agree on a united national strategy to protect the intifada, regain Palestinians’ rights, and adhere to the inalienable nationalistic principles,” Haniyeh said.
“Some people thought that our people have tired of intifadas, revolutions and resistance, and even based their strategies on the thought that our people would not rise again. However, the al-Quds Intifada came to thwart all their plans,” he said.
Haniyeh’s remarks come on the heels of a sermon he delivered earlier this month in Gaza, when he urged further unrest and called for the “strengthening and increasing” of armed Palestinian resistance against Israel. The Hamas chief asserted violence was the “only path that will lead to liberation.”
The terrorist group Hamas rules Gaza, the Palestinian enclave squeezed between Egypt and Israel and separated from the West Bank. Gaza has been the site of three wars between Israel and Hamas since 2008, but it has remained relativity calm amid the recent unrest in Israel and the West Bank.
In recent weeks, Palestinians from Gaza have broken through the border fence with Israel several times, as well as staged protests in solidarity with West Bank Palestinians who have repeatedly clashed with Israeli troops. At least 12 Palestinians were reported to have been killed in the recent clashes between Gazan demonstrators and IDF soldiers.
A rash of stabbing attacks in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Israel itself, along with rioting, have raised fears of a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising.
Hamas leaders have praised the perpetrators of terror attacks in recent days, and have increasingly urged West Bank Palestinians to carry out attacks against Israelis. Hamas is avowedly committed to destroying Israel.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.