The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas on Wednesday threatened to renew intense fighting against Israel if the Jewish state “violates” the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, and downplayed damage to its military infrastructure following the 11-day conflict in the Gaza Strip.
“What has happened is but a drill for what will come if Israel violates the Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the terror group’s Gaza leader, Yahya Sinwar, said on Wednesday, days after a ceasefire entered effect. “The occupation must know — Al-Aqsa has men who will defend it.”
Violent clashes between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli police at the Jerusalem holy site in early May preceded the Hamas rocket barrage on Israeli cities and towns that began the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Diplomatic efforts are underway to solidify a fragile Egypt-brokered truce that halted the fighting, with plans to rebuild the Gaza Strip where Israeli airstrikes damaged infrastructure and leveled buildings.
“We welcome any international or Arab effort to rebuild the Gaza Strip,” Sinwar told a news conference in Gaza City.
Sinwar said that Gaza has “sufficient financial resources… a large part of which are from Iran, and another part comes from Arab and Muslim donors and free people of the world who stand in solidarity with our people and their rights.”