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August 20, 2019 10:55 am

Hamas Issues Ultimatum to Israel Threatening Escalation of Violence

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A Hamas military drill in the Gaza Strip in March 2018. Photo: Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.

Hamas has issued an ultimatum to Israel threatening an escalation of violence if Israel does not make concessions on the flow of money from Qatar into the Gaza Strip.

The threat was made by an anonymous Hamas source in an article in the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, Israel’s Channel 13 reported on Tuesday. The source said that the ultimatum was conveyed to Israel via Egyptian mediators, and included demands for more funds from Qatar as well as an increase in the electricity supply to Gaza.

The mediators were asked to pressure Israel to make such concessions immediately. The threat comes just before the arrival  in Gaza of the head of Qatar’s support operation for the Palestinians, Mohammed al-Emadi. The veteran Qatari businessman and diplomat will visit Tel Aviv on Wednesday and meet with Israeli officials, traveling to Gaza on Thursday, where he will reportedly oversee the distribution of a Qatari grant in cash.

The news comes following an uptick in violence along the Gaza border, which included rocket fire on Israel’s south and an attempted infiltration that was foiled by the IDF.

Palestinian factions in Gaza issued a joint statement on Monday, saying, “The Zionist enemy is responsible for attacks on the youth who are rebelling in Gaza, because it continues the siege of Gaza, repeated harassment of the al-Aqsa mosque, and the violation of the rights of prisoners.”

“What the young rebellious Palestinians in Gaza are doing is a warning before the explosion,” the statement continued. “We have warned the Zionist enemy many times not to continue his crimes, but its leadership continues to play with fire and will burn in it.”

“Gaza is a bubbling volcano,” the statement added.

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