Hamas has demanded that Israel lift its blockade of Gaza by 8:00 a.m. Friday. If Israel fails to oblige, Hamas threatens that it will continue its attacks.
Israel instituted the blockade of Gaza in 2007 to try to stop foreign entities from fueling Hamas and other jihadi groups’ unprovoked terror and rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip.
As The Times of Israel reports, according to a new poll released by the IDC Herzliya College in Israel, 92% of Gazans want a long-haul ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Additionally, 72% would like peace with Israel, contrasting Hamas’s position that the Jewish State must be wiped off the map and never recognized.
A Hamas spokesman claimed that Hamas still had underground tunnels and rockets, which it could utilize to attack Israel. An al-Qassam Brigades jihadi told a UK paper that they have “enough rockets, more than the enemy can imagine.” He went on to say that the tunnel network is still sufficient to attack Israel. “They would rather be killed on the battlefield than be a martyr on the surface,” he said of his comrades. “We prepared for a long battle. We can target cities we have not even hit in this war. We can penetrate the Israeli border again. We only fought with 10 percent of our forces; the rest are on standby.”
Thursday afternoon, some 2,000 pro-Hamas Gazans attended a rally in support of continuing attacks against Israel. “Our fingers are on the trigger and our rockets are trained at Tel Aviv. We are not going to relinquish [our arms] until all our lands are liberated,” said a Hamas spokesman at the rally.
Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid warned that should Hamas break the ceasefire, Israel will respond with heavy force:
They mustn’t try us. The IDF is prepared and ready, the air force is prepared and ready. Any fire will be answered with a heavy blow of fire. There is no difference between Hamas’s political and military wings. Anyone who sits at the head of a murderous terrorist organization deserves to die. Nobody is safe from us.