Israel Calls Hamas Leader’s Threat on ‘Thousands’ of Synagogues an ‘Act of Antisemitic Incitement’
Israel on Sunday responded to threats by the leader of the Hamas terror group in Gaza of a “regional, religious war” and attacks on Jewish synagogues around the world should Israel again “violate” Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque.
“It is already clear to me at this stage that Hamas does not love this government; perhaps they miss the suitcases of dollars or they simply do not love the possibility of us all working together to improve the conditions of Israel’s Arab citizens,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated, referring to the prior government’s policy by which “suitcases” of Qatari cash was channeled to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip to pay civil servants.
Under the helm of Bennett, the Israeli government has demanded Qatari aid be sent via mechanisms that ensure funds reach their purpose of rebuilding civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, rather than Hamas’ terror infrastructure.
In a speech delivered on Saturday night, Hamas’s Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar, while pointing to a picture showing Israeli police inside the Al-Aqsa mosque, warned that “whoever decides to allow this photo to be repeated — to invade Al-Aqsa mosque — is allowing an invasion of thousands of Jewish synagogues around the world.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry called Sinwar’s appeal an “act of antisemitic incitement” to attack Jewish synagogues everywhere.
“The only threat to Al-Aqsa or any other religious site is the violent extremism embodied by Hamas and Iran’s other terror proxies,” the ministry stated.
Hamas’ threats come amid repeated clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians around Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and in the Old City during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends Sunday evening.
Sinwar also took aim at Ra’am party head Mansour Abbas for staying in Israel’s coalition government despite the clashes around the Temple Mount. Sinwar accused Abbas of an “unforgivable crime,” urging him to leave the government immediately.
Abbas made history last year when he led Ra’am to become the first Arab party ever to join Israel’s governing coalition.
“This is a very important point in which the masks come off and it is clear to everyone who wants what,” Bennett said. “That it is Hamas that wants to topple our government says it all. On this as well, Sinwar cannot be allowed to win.”
Abbas told Israel’s N12 news over the weekend that the party owes “neither Sinwar nor anyone anything.”
“We do what is good for Arab society and the Palestinian people,” Abbas said. “No one will tell us what to do.”