In June, the uncertainty of the fate and whereabouts of the bodies of the kidnapped Israeli settlers led Israel to accuse two Hamas officials of being responsible for the kidnapping, namely: Marwan Al-Qawasmi and Amer Abu Aisha. Israel eventually found the bodies of the kidnapped settlers and this led them to speculate what may have actually happened.
Regardless of Hamas’ involvement in the Hebron operation, i.e. the kidnapping of the three settlers, it has become quite clear that they will have to prepare themselves for a confrontation with Israel. They can be sure and confident that an Israeli attack is imminent. The countdown has already begun but the question that remains is: when will the attack take place? Moreover, will it be a concentrated or widespread attack? We only know that the attack is coming and as such, we have prepared ourselves by taking the necessary precautions and alerted the movement’s military, security and media branches in preparation for what is to come.
Instructions have been given from the top of the organisation’s leadership to all other levels to take the Israeli threats seriously. High-ranking officials have been warned to be wary of any and all telephone and Internet activity, as Israel is believed to be targeting important figures within Hamas.
Although Hamas is not interested in seeing the situation escalate, Israel insists on seeking revenge for the killing of the three settlers and Hamas is the one paying the price for it. Hamas has been in contact with many parties in their attempt to ensure that no aggression is waged against Gaza because any aggression towards Gaza will set the entire region in flames. And yet, it appears as though Netanyahu is intent on making a spectacle out of this current situation and although he believes that waging aggression on Gaza will bring an end to the violence, he should know by now that what it will do, in actuality, is open the doors of hell because after all, all the wars on Gaza serve as good examples for what is yet to come.
A number of armed groups in Gaza have issued a statement declaring that they have prepared themselves for an Israeli attack and that they will not leave Hamas alone in the battlefield in light of the imminent attack. The current atmosphere in Gaza is one that invokes a sense of anticipation and extreme caution after the Israeli government met to discuss ways to retaliate against Gaza after the kidnapping operation in Hebron.
Over the past few days, even before I wrote this article, the Gaza strip has witnessed a series of bombardments and attacks in retaliation for what Israel claims were several rocket attacks against settlements south of Gaza. Moreover, foreigners working in a number of international organisations in Gaza have been asked to stock their houses with extra rations of food and water and to wave their countries’ flags above their houses and offices in an attempt to protect themselves during the forthcoming invasions.
Finally, the amount of secrecy surrounding virtually all of the Israeli government’s decisions from June 30 to July 5 leads us to believe that a severe military campaign will soon be launched against Gaza. We believe that this attack will be more severe than the current shelling that had been taking place over the last few weeks but less destructive than the aggression waged against the Strip in 2008 and 2012. In any case, the Gaza Strip is trying to prepare itself for the attack if it is unable to prevent it from happening altogether.
Tanslated from Felesteen newspaper, 7 July, 2014