The Hamas terrorist organization which rules the Gaza Strip reportedly said on Sunday it neither wants nor expects another war with Israel, despite raised tensions in recent weeks over plans to reduce electricity to the Strip.
“We in Hamas do not initiate wars and we do not expect one, this is our political assessment,” Khalil al-Hayya, Hamas’s deputy leader, told reporters in Gaza according to Reuters.
“We do not expect war because we are not interested and ‘the occupation’ also say they are not interested,” he said, referring to Israel.
Hayya also said on Sunday that the group is working together with Egypt to secure its borders.
“Securing borders is a joint interest. We are keen and we have the determination and the ability to prevent any harm to reach out for Egypt from Gaza,” he added.
Egypt, which controls the southern border of Gaza has been at loggerheads with Hamas over perceived support for Muslim Brotherhood members in Egypt and an Islamic insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.
Hamas has dozens of smuggling tunnels under the Rafah border, which Egypt frequently tries to close.
The apparently calming voices from Hamas come after warnings from the group last week that the reduction of electricity could lead to an explosion.
The Israeli cabinet decided a week ago that it would cut the amount of power it supplies to the Gaza Strip at the behest of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is seeking to ramp up pressure on Hamas, his Fatah party’s bitter rival.
“The decision of the occupation to reduce the electricity to Gaza at the request of PA President Mahmoud Abbas is catastrophic and dangerous. It will accelerate the deterioration and explode the situation in the Strip,” said Hamas spokesperson Abdel Latif al-Qanua last week.
The decision would see a reduction of about 45 minutes to the amount of time every day during which Gaza receives electricity, Israeli media reported.
During last week’s cabinet meeting top military officials, including IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, warned that the power cut could lead to an escalation in violence, while welcoming the pressure on Hamas, according to a Haaretz report, citing a member of the security cabinet.