Hamas: Annexation of settlements means war

Spokesman for the Gaza-based terror group makes a special announcement timed for the anniversary of the Hamas kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Hamas said on Thursday that it views Israel’s intentions to extend its sovereignty over parts of the Jordan Valley, Judea and Samaria as a declaration of war.

“The resistance considers the decision to annex the West Bank and the Jordan Valley a declaration of war on our people, and we will make the enemy bite the fingers of remorse for this sinful decision,” Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida said in a speech broadcast on Palestinian television.

Hamas timed the announcement to coincide with the date marking the anniversary of the kidnapping in 2006 of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Hamas terrorists who used a cross-border tunnel in a raid that killed two other IDF soldiers. Hamas held Shalit hostage for five years before releasing him in a controversial 2011 prisoner exchange in which Israel freed 1,027 Hamas and Palestinian prisoners, most of them convicted terrorists.

However, the director of the Media Center at the Palestinian An-Najah University in Nablus mocked Hamas for the graphic appearing on the TV screen behind Abu Obeida, showing arms that joined Hamas in Gaza with its supporters in Judea and Samaria – with the obvious implication that the rest of the map is Israel, something that Hamas normally refuses to acknowledge.

“It is good that Hamas is sending its messages from its military wing to the world that it accepts the borders of 1967, but this map with this strange design is considered a disaster,” Ghazi Mortaja tweeted.

Hamas and the mainstream Fatah party of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas both refer to ‘Palestine’ as being “from the river to the sea,” meaning that all the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is theirs, with no place for Israel.

Abu Obeida also said another prisoner exchange deal with Israel was a priority for the terrorist group.

“We remind the Zionist enemy that there will be no deal without the release of senior prisoners and prisoners whose hands are tied with the blood of usurped occupiers,” Abu Obeida said, implying Hamas wants Israel to release more Palestinian terrorists convicted of murdering Israelis.

Hamas is holding Israeli civilians Hisham al-Saeed and Avera Mengistu as hostages as well as the bodies of two IDF soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed in the 2014 Gaza war sparked by Hamas.

“It has been proven to all liberation movements around the world that liberation cannot be achieved unless a gun is raised,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said earlier this month.

On Wednesday, Hamas terrorist Asam Barghouti was sentenced to four life terms for the 2018 murder of three Israelis.  Haniyeh phoned Barghouti’s mother and told her the “unjust ruling against the prisoner Asam is nothing but a medal of honor on the chest of all the Palestinian people” and that he was proud of the Barghouti family.