Hamas Gaza Chief Threatens Tel Aviv Amid Truce Talks

Islamist Hamas movement leader Yahya Sinwar (C) shouts slogans as he takes part in a tent city protest near the border with Israel east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza strip on March 30, 2018 to commemorate Land Day. Land Day marks the killing of six Arab Israelis during 1976 …

The Times of Israel reports: Hamas’s chief in Gaza said Saturday that if there is a war, Israel will need to evacuate its civilians from Tel Aviv as well as the border communities, a day after the terror group’s leader said talks to achieve a truce were advancing.

“If the Gaza Strip is dragged into war, Israel will suffer. It will not only have to evacuate the communities around the Strip, but also [the cities of] Ashdod and Ashkelon and even Tel Aviv,” Yahya Sinwar told a group of Gaza officials.  “Our fingers are on the trigger and they will remain pressed against it in order to protect our people. We will be the sword and shield,” Sinwar said, according to the Hamas-linked Al-Aqsa TV.

Sinwar also noted the role played by Egyptian mediators in negotiations to broker understandings between Israel and the terror group, saying the country “had a significant role in easing the siege imposed on Gaza, and we are grateful.” Both Israel and Egypt enforce a number of restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza. Israel says the blockade is necessary to keep Hamas and other terror groups in the Strip from arming or building military infrastructure. An Islamist terror group, Hamas seeks to destroy Israel.

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