Despite making barely a blip amid the flood international coronavirus crisis headlines, a number of huge developments have rocked the Israeli-Palestine issue, bringing the world nearer an explosion of violence not seen since the second Intifada which ended in 2005.
Earlier this week the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas announced that all prior agreements with the United States and Israel are now null and void, including any and all prior ‘security agreements’ with the state of Israel, such as the historic Oslo Accords, and most alarmingly all local security arrangements and any ground-level cooperation.
Days following on Thursday Hamas issued its own dramatic warning, vowing to “confront” the “Zionist-American” plot to annex major parts of the occupied West Bank, especially the Jordan Valley, with “armed military resistance”.
This after Prime Minister Netanyahu in a Sunday speech promised to move on annexing areas of Jewish settlements in the West Bank that were “agreed” to as part of Trump’s much touted ‘Deal of the Century’ first unveiled to the public earlier this year. The PA and Hamas have vehemently rejected from the beginning, saying ultimately the Israeli side had to sacrifice nothing.
Specifically the new Hamas statements the Islamic militant organization’s political chief Ismail Haniya on the occasion of ‘International Day of Jerusalem’ (Quds Day), falling on the last day of Ramadan.
The Hamas leader began by thanking Iran: “We thank Iran for its continuous support for the steadfastness of the Palestinian people.”
“The Palestinian people and the people of Jerusalem defend their chests and their faith in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Holy City, and we warn the Zionists against committing follies against them,” Haniyeh said according to Sama News Agency.
“On the International Day of Jerusalem, the Holy City lives in the most dangerous stages, and we are following the American-Zionist talk about the implementation of the deal of the century, which was based on the liquidation of the Palestinian issue, the core of which is Jerusalem, as are the refugees and the land,” he continued.
The Hamas chief added: “Jerusalem has lived in a siege since it was occupied in 1948 until now, and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque is at the head of the siege by obliterating its identity, incursions and denying Jerusalemites access to it.”
“We are facing a great and comprehensive danger and we need a strategy to confront the danger facing our cause and sanctify it, and in its essence the comprehensive resistance project, on top of which is the armed military resistance,” he said.
The speech was focused also especially on resisting the US declaration (as part of the Trump plan) of formal recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital – something other international countries have been urged by the State Department to do as well.
For months, Hamas has been whipping up popular protests against the American-Israeli peace plan:
— Joe Truzman (@Jtruzmah) February 3, 2020
The fresh Hamas threats followed Abbas’ final ‘cutting off’ of all agreements with Israel, which itself came after Netanyahu’s swearing in of the new Israeli government Sunday wherein he declared “now is the time to annex the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.”
The Trump plan has been previously described as “Bibi’s dream come true” and has long been seen as merely paying lip service to the Palestinians, ultimately without ceding anything of value.