Wednesday, March 22nd | 29 Adar 5783

March 15, 2023 10:40 am

Security Tensions Rise Ahead of Ramadan as Hamas Issues Threats

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avatar by i24 News

People hold Hamas flags as Palestinians gather after performing the last Friday of Ramadan to protest over the possible eviction of several Palestinian families from homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, in Jerusalem’s Old City, May 7, 2021. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

i24 News – As Israeli-Palestinian tensions remain high on the ground, the attempts to keep levels of violence down.

Two-and-a-half weeks after the Aqaba summit in Jordan, which did not succeed in reducing the hostility between the sides, another summit involving Israelis and Palestinians may take place next week in Egypt. Once again, the talks will be backed by the United States, whose Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was in the region last week.

“We had a very frank and candid discussion among friends about the need to de-escalate and lower tensions and to restore calm, especially before the holidays of Passover and Ramadan,” Austin said.

The envoys attending—and those hosting—may all have good intentions, but on the ground things are far from promising to say the least.

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“The number of militants is increasing and the enemy should know that the killing and violence they are doing against our people will only increase the number of fighters,” a Palestinian fighter in the West Bank city of Jenin said.

Hamas, which opposes any meetings with Israel, has been very successful at inciting violence in the West Bank and is now hinting that the Gaza front may soon ignite as well. In a rare interview, the deputy commander of the Hamas military wing in Gaza, Marwan Issa, said that any change in the status quo on Jerusalem’s flashpoint Temple Mount will shake the entire region and Gaza will not remain quiet.

“We will protect our people with all our might, when direct intervention on our part is required,” he said.

He also claimed that the political solution in the West Bank “is a thing of the past” and threatened that “the next few days will bring (significant) events.”

“The desire to commit suicide among the residents of the West Bank is unprecedented and the state of resistance in the West Bank is excellent. So is the state of national unity in the face of the Occupation,” the Hamas official claimed.

In recent years, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan has been a period of violence. In 2021, it led to Operation “Guardian of the Walls” in Gaza. While some in the region are hoping to avoid a repeart scenario, others seem to be pushing for it.

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