A senior Hamas official in Gaza has said that the Israeli threats to bomb the besieged Strip are “just to reassure the settlers” who have been scared by the Great March of Return, Safa reported on Friday. Mahmoud Al-Zahar made his comment during a visit to the Return Camp to the east of Gaza City yesterday.
“When the Israeli occupation bombs the depth of Gaza, then an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” he said, adding:
The occupation knows who we are and exactly what our power is.
Al-Zahar discussed the intentions of the Great March of Return. “We want to tell the world – which has lost its conscience and morality – that this enemy [Israel] is criminal and takes up its weapons to shoot at unarmed demonstrators, including children and women.”
Israel has issued a warning that it will attack Gaza in order to divert attention from the Great March of Return and push the Palestinians not to organise the now weekly demonstration. According to Safa, the Israel Defence Forces also claimed that Hamas is planning to carry out attacks under the cover of the ongoing protests. In fact, Israel appears to be desperate to do anything that will portray the March as a “riot” by armed protesters in order to justify its disproportionate response.
During the first week of the Great March, which started last Friday, Israeli soldiers killed 20 demonstrators and wounded around 1,700. Yesterday, the second Friday of the protest, Israel killed 10 demonstrators and wounded 1,454 others, at least 30 of whom are in a serious condition.