TEL AVIV — The leaders of Palestinian jihadist factions in the Gaza Strip held a press conference threatening that if Israel continues an “assault” against the Al Aqsa Mosque, “this will result in a response that will change the entire region.”
The terrorist groups were referring to the Israeli government’s decision to install metal detectors at the entrances to the Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and holy to Islam as well.
Protest leaders, including top Palestinian officials, claim the metal detectors are part of an Israeli conspiracy to hamper Muslim worship at the Temple Mount.
The activists, jihadists and Palestinian officials seemingly failed to note that Israel’s new security measures were put into place in direct response to the murderous Palestinian terrorist attack at the Mount last Friday in which three assailants somehow smuggled weapons onto the site. The metal detectors will protect all visitors to the Mount, including Muslim worshipers.
Speaking at the press conference on Tuesday, a representative of the Army of Mujahideen, representing major Palestinian terrorist factions, said, “At the moment, the finger of the organizations is still off the trigger, but if the violations continue at al-Aqsa, the Palestinian military factions will prevail.”
He added, “The occupation will not be able to bear the cost of the assault on al-Aqsa.”
A senior jihadist in one of the represented organizations, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in a conversation with Breitbart Jerusalem that despite the threats made at the press conference and under pressure from Hamas, the organizations have agreed to show restraint and avoid responses from the Gaza Strip in order not to harm efforts to ease the blockade on the Strip.
According to the source, the agreement was concluded in a meeting with the participation of representatives from the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ so-called military wing; the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad; the al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades, the military branch of the Popular Resistance Committees; the Army of Mujahideen; the Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine; and the National Resistance Brigades, the military branch of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
“It was concluded in the meeting, at the request of Hamas representatives, that the factions show restraint in order not to play into the hands of the occupation and to avoid Israeli attacks that would damage positions of the Palestinian organizations,” said the source. “We understand that Israel is waiting for us to fire at the settlements near Gaza and wants to open a general and harsh attack on the Strip, so it was agreed not to give Israel these excuses and to continue pressuring Israel to remove the blockade from Gaza.”
The source also said that the organizations agreed to prevent any fire from the Strip or any attempt to carry out attacks originating from Gaza or along the border fence between the Strip and Israel.
Meanwhile, thousands are expected to take part in a day of rage in the Gaza Strip on Friday announced by the Palestinian factions who called on Palestinians to arrive en masse to pray at the entrance to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
Many mosques in the West Bank are expected to be closed to prayers on Friday to encourage thousands of worshipers to go to al-Aqsa and put pressure on Israeli authorities to finally force the removal of the metal detectors.