Tensions in occupied Palestine may come back soon

December 8, 2021 - 23:18

TEHRAN— The Israeli regime and Hamas signed a ceasefire agreement in May 2021 after the violent clashes ignited by the Israeli forces in Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah. Since then, the Israelis have been seemingly quiet. But this is not the case. They have been violating the ceasefire in stunned silence by the Western media outlets.

Israeli occupation forces left massive destruction behind after raiding and sabotaging a school in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied al-Quds (Jerusalem), arresting 5 female Palestinians under the pretext of an alleged stabbing attempt.

Israeli occupation forces detained the Palestinian ex-prisoner Shorouq Badan from the town of Tuqu, southeast of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, on Tuesday.

Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque courtyards under the protection of occupation forces and performed provocative tours on Wednesday.

In another example, occupation forces raided the house of Palestinian martyr Fadi Abu Shukhedem in the neighborhood of Shuafat Camp in al-Quds on Tuesday, and took measurements inside the house in preparation for its punitive demolition.

For the past two months, Hamas has been silent due to a delay by Cairo delay to resolve the Gaza issue, particularly the reconstruction of areas damaged by Israeli attacks and trade through the Rafah crossing to give the Egyptian government an opportunity to mediate with Israel. But senior sources in interviews with Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed say Hamas officials are outraged by Egypt's procrastination and delay in implementing the agreements. Yet, Hamas has said Cairo has taken a tougher line on Israel on some issues, especially the reconstruction.

Despite Hamas' efforts to avoid media tensions with Egypt, the resistance movement now finds itself under more siege than in the past and feels that the Egyptian government has imposed the current situation on the movement without taking any concessions from Israel.

According to informed sources in the Hamas movement, the group has repeatedly given the Egyptian mediator several opportunities to advance understanding with Israel and begin rebuilding the damaged areas, which was funded by the UAE ($500 million), but has done virtually nothing. 

Hamas threatens to escalate tensions with Israel

On Nov. 29, Hamas's tone changed amid Cairo's delay in fulfilling its commitments, such as rebuilding devastated areas and facilitating Palestinians’ travel through the Rafah crossing.

Al-Jazeera quoted informed sources in Hamas as saying that the group was considering options to escalate tensions with Israel amid the continued siege of Gaza and delays in rebuilding the affected areas, and that Israeli aggression on Al-Aqsa Mosque and assault on Palestinian prisoners could set fire to the existing ashes.

The sources clarified, “Hamas will not allow the current situation to continue and the next step will prove the veracity of Hamas's claims.”

Israel delays resolving Gaza Strip problems

On the other hand, Egyptian sources stated that Cairo is aware of the resentment and anger of Hamas leaders about the continuation of the current situation, but not because of Egypt's deliberate approach and behavior towards the Palestinians, but because of the Israeli side's delay in the talks.

One of the sources said that the Egyptian officials have stated that this approach of Israel has put Cairo in a tight spot due to delays in the negotiation process, because the Egyptian side seeks the opinion of the Israelis at every step, and therefore enters the negotiations with the Palestinian side.

“Palestinian groups, led by Hamas, believe that Egypt is pressuring them to make concessions and wants to reach an agreement under any circumstances, even to the detriment of the Palestinian side,” the source said. The source, who is an Egyptian official, added, “The Egyptian side is outraged by the constant changes in Israel's position; this will lead to the suspension of Egypt's understanding with Hamas to implement the reconstruction and reopening of the Rafah crossing.”

Israeli media outlets reported that Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid would travel to Cairo this week to discuss the Palestinian issue and the case of Israeli prisoners of war with Hamas.

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