Hamas weighing escalation with Israel as soon as next week – report

It’s unclear if the talk is just bluster.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Hamas is considering engaging in another round of conflict with Israel partially due to Egypt’s slow pace in facilitating rebuilding in the Gaza Strip, some six months after May 2021’s Operation Guardian of the Walls left much of the terror group’s infrastructure severely damaged.

“We are considering options for an escalation with Israel in light of the continued siege of Gaza and the delay in rehabilitating the Strip,” a Hamas source told Al Jazeera on Monday.

“We will not allow the current situation to continue, and the next phase will prove the credibility of our words.”

Citing “Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque” and alleged “harm to [Palestinian security] prisoners,” the source said that Hamas “will not allow the continuation of the current situation, and the coming period will prove what we said.”

The source also bemoaned what Hamas considers Egypt’s betrayal of the terror group, as it reportedly has not lived up to its word around aiding with rebuilding efforts.

He added that Egypt is blocking Palestinians from leaving Gaza via the Egyptian-run Rafah border crossing.

“The behavior of Egypt violates its promise to compel Israel in exchange for the resistance’s commitment to calm,” the source said.

If Egypt does not immediately fulfill its pledges and obligations in terms of support for Gaza, the Hamas source threatened that “escalation will begin next week.”

It’s unclear if the talk is just bluster or if Hamas is capable of launching an offensive against Israel at this time.

Since the last round of conflict, just a handful of rockets have been fired from the Strip towards Israel’s southern communities, the smallest number after a ceasefire since clashes began between Hamas and Israel in 2006.

This suggests that Israel’s efforts in destroying weapons stockpiles and critical Hamas infrastructure may have been more successful than the terror group initially acknowledged.