A top Hamas leader has declared the terror group hopes for a “permanent war” with Israel calling on Arab countries in the Middle East to join the conflict.
Khalil al-Hayya, a member of Hamas’s top leadership body, said the bloody October 7 attacks against Israel were necessary to “change the entire equation and not just have a clash” putting their cause back on the world stage.
Speaking to The New York Times, al-Hayya said: “We succeeded in putting the Palestinian issue back on the table, and now no one in the region is experiencing calm.”
The operation, which saw at least 1,400 Israelis killed and 240 taken to Gaza as hostages, has been praised by Hamas leaders hiding out in Qatar.
Al-Hayya continued: “I hope that the state of war with Israel will become permanent on all the borders and that the Arab world will stand with us.”
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Following the devastating attack, it has been revealed that commanders in Gaza kept the details of the operation from their political leadership as well as allies like Iran and Hezbollah surprising regional actors.
Al-Hayya said: “What could change the equation was a great act, and without a doubt, it was known that the reaction to this great act would be big. We had to tell people that the Palestinian cause would not die.”
Israel responded to the attack by declaring war on Hamas and carrying out thousands of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.
It has since launched a ground invasion of the enclave in order to destroy the terror group and heavy fighting has been reported inside the strip.
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Hamas has turned Gaza into a virtual fortress with observation points, anti-tank missile launching sites and an extensive network of tunnels used to move troops and equipment around the strip.
Israeli ground forces battling inside Gaza City drew closer to Gaza’s largest hospital, Shifa, according to the hospital’s general director, Mohammed Abu Selmia.
The Israeli military says Hamas’ main command centre is located in and under the hospital complex and that senior leaders are hiding there, using the facility as a shield. Hamas and hospital staff deny the claim and say the military is making a pretext to strike it.
For Palestinians in Gaza, the hospital is a symbol of civilian suffering in the war. Like others, it has been overwhelmed by a constant stream of wounded even as medical supplies dwindle.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza claims at least 10,000 people have died in the strip since the war began.
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