‘Israel trying to blackmail us, Hamas may escalate,’ threatens terror leader

Sinwar’s threat could also suggest Hamas stepping up its use of so-called “night confusion” units along the Gaza-Israel border.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is considering the terror group’s next steps as negotiations with Israel for a long-term ceasefire and transfer of Qatari funds into the Gaza Strip have stalled.

Although a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was established last month after Operation Guardian of the Walls, the agreement is fragile and non-binding.

Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported Monday morning that on the heels of the breakdown in negotiations, tensions between Hamas and Egypt have risen.

Egyptian security officials in Cairo complied with Israel’s request to prevent concrete from being imported into the Strip, sparking fury among Hamas leaders.

“Israel is trying to blackmail us,” said Sinwar, according to a source who spoke with Al-Akhbar.

The source added that Sinwar was frustrated with what he felt was Egypt’s unwillingness to defy the Israeli request banning the importation of certain goods.

After meeting with officials from the United Nations on Monday, Sinwar also said that “our meeting with the UN delegation was bad, and unfortunately there is no initiative to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.”

With much-needed Qatari money to rebuild the Strip held up by Israel for fear that the funds will be appropriated by Hamas, the terror group leader said he may consider an escalation.

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As hundreds of incendiary balloon launched over the last week have been met with precision strikes by the Israeli Air Force, this could mean a return to rocket fire.

Sinwar’s threat could also suggest that Hamas is stepping up its use of so-called “night confusion” units along the Gaza-Israel border. The groups burn and launch crude projectiles over the separation wall and detonate sound bombs in an attempt to distract IDF soldiers stationed at the border.

Hamas night confusion unit leader Hamad al-Ragab told Al-Monitor that the terror group “cannot remain idle amid Israel’s measures in Jerusalem.”

He alleged that Israeli security forces were “storm[ing] Al-Aqsa Mosque, not to mention the attempt to forcibly evict the people in [Jerusalem neighborhoods] Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and Batn al-Hawa.”

“Hamas cannot keep silently watching the suffering of Gaza’s people,” he said.