The Hamas terror group in Gaza is demanding that Israel provide it with medical equipment to fight coronavirus, threatening military action if it doesn’t get what it wants.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
A senior Hamas official threatened Israel Sunday, saying that if its demands for medical equipment were not met it would take action to force Israel to give it what it wants.
In a video released on the terror group’s website, Khalil al-Haya said the terrorist organization would hold Israel responsible for any coronavirus deaths in Gaza, Channel 13 reported.
“We have purchased about 30 respirators. We will not allow any Palestinian in the Gaza Strip to die from corona because of the Gaza blockade,” al-Haya said. “We are putting pressure on Israel through brokers to allow the entry of tools and equipment into Gaza.”
“All options are open to force Israel to allow medical equipment to enter Gaza,” he said.
With pressure mounting on Hamas after the first cases of coronavirus were confirmed in its territory, the group signaled last month it was interested in making a deal with Israel in exchange for two Israeli civilians it is holding hostage and the bodies of two IDF soldiers.
The terrorist organization needs ventilators and advanced medical equipment, either from Israel or from a third country, Channel 13 reported.
In return for the Israeli hostages, Hamas is demanding Israel release many of the convicted terrorists serving jail sentences including those serving life sentences for murder, a condition Israel refuses at this stage and is the main obstacle to the deal, Palestinian sources said.
Last week Israeli officials said the pressure Hamas is facing from a potential spread of the virus in Gaza has produced a window of opportunity to make a deal to get the hostages and bodies of the IDF soldiers returned.
Hamas seized power in a bloody 2007 military coup, following which Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade to try and slow the Iran-backed terror group’s goal of arming itself to carry out its stated intention of destroying Israeli militarily.
Years of iron-fisted Hamas military rule has left Gaza impoverished as Hamas invested heavily in weapons and salaries for its members, while failing to develop an economy and letting Gaza’s health system decline.
The terror group and its allies have fired tens of thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel since 2001. Hamas is also infamous for carrying out some of the most brutal suicide bombing attacks in Israel, specifically targeting civilians.