Hamas criticised an Arab member of Israel's parliament who said his party would not leave the Israeli coalition government if it launched an offensive on Gaza.
Israeli-Arab MK Walid Taha, who replaced a deceased colleague as head of Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee earlier this month, made his remarks in an interview with Israeli TV Channel 12.
When asked what his party would do in the event of an Israeli offensive on Gaza like the one that took place in May, Taha said: "We despise wars, no matter [if they are waged by] the former, current or next government. What is the alternative?"
"Let's assume, God forbid, that there is a war with Gaza. So we have left the coalition, will the next government do good for Gaza?"
Hamas spokesperson, Abdel Latif Al Qanou, said the remarks are a "national and moral misstep and attest to a disconnection of Taha from the Palestinian Arab identity."
Al Qanou stressed that Taha's comments "do not reflect Palestinian values."
Following the criticism, Taha attempted to tone down his speech and said: "We will not sit idly in the face of any war. We cannot ignore such a situation and we do not want it to happen, but we will not preempt such a situation."