Deputy Hamas leader, Sheikh Salah Al Arouri, said on Thursday that his Movement’s military assault on Israeli settlements and military bases near Gaza thwarted a planned Israeli attack on Gaza.
Speaking to Al Jazeera about his Movement’s operation, he said that it aimed solely at soldiers and military installations.
He stressed that Hamas had received intelligence indicating that the Israeli occupation intended to launch an assault on the organisation after the Sukkot holiday, so that Hamas carried out this “preemptive strike”.
The military installations were taken down within three hours, even surprising us. Israel seeks to divert attention from its own misconduct
The senior Hamas leader argued that, after the fall of the Gaza Division command, Hamas fighters initially took only soldiers as prisoners but, later armed civilians entered the scene, resulting in chaos.
The Israeli army followed the Hannibal Directive in several places, which led to a high number of casualties
“Israeli and Western claims that we commit crimes are lies,” he said. “Israel is the one perpetrating crimes against humanity. Israel doesn’t just target Hamas infrastructure; it targets civilians.”
Arouri reiterated that Hamas is prepared for any scenario, including a ground invasion, stressing that discussions about the issue of prisoners will only take place “after the battles conclude”.