Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, has told its loyalists in the Fatah-run West Bank to carry out suicide attacks against Israelis.
Israeli officials learned Monday that Hamas instructed its operatives to attack Israelis living in both the West Bank and Israel.
Known hot spots for Hamas support outside of Gaza include the cities of Nablus and Hebron, the officials said, both of which are in the West Bank.
On Monday, Israel Radio reported that Palestinian security forces have detained a group of Hamas terrorists in Hebron who were in the planning stages for a series of terror attacks. The terrorists had “expressed their desire to die,” according to a Jerusalem Post report on the arrests.
The Hamas call for suicide attacks comes just ten days after the group declared that Palestinians are engaged in an “intifada” against Israel.
On October 9, Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh said: “We are calling for the strengthening and increasing of the intifada … It is the only path that will lead to liberation.”
“Gaza will fulfill its role in the Jerusalem intifada and it is more than ready for confrontation,” Haniyeh added, speaking during Friday prayers at a Gaza mosque.
Additionally, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahartold told an Islamist website that he was encouraging “an armed intifada” against Israel. He stressed that Palestinians use more advanced weapons to counter “what the Israeli side is doing.”
“Those who are coming out against an armed intifada are doing so out of personal interest and VIP status,” the Hamas leader said in challenging Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to a translation by the Jerusalem Post.
Though the group continues to praise and encourage Palestinian attacks against innocent Jews, that has not stopped South African President Jacob Zuma from meeting with the Hamas political leader, Khaled Meshaal, on Monday.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the meeting between Zuma and Meshaal.
“The Foreign Ministry expresses outrage and shock in the wake of the invitation of a Hamas delegation headed by Khaled Meshaal, by the ruling party in South Africa,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman told Israel National News on Monday.
Hamas maintains friendly relations with the majority of Islamic countries, and the terror group remains steadfast allies with Shiite Iran and Sunni Qatar.