Locals from Gaza gathered at a tourist resort to support the Qatari football team at the 2022 Football World Cup. (Photo Credit: Mohammed al-Hajjar via MEE)
Israel’s Kan TV channel reported on 2 December that Qatar’s envoy to Gaza, Mohammed al-Emadi, has exerted pressure on local officials and resistance factions to prevent any military escalation against Israel until the end of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Emadi reportedly asked Hamas to maintain calm in the besieged Gaza Strip and not retaliate for the continued Israeli violations in the occupied West Bank, despite the severe blows the Israeli army is causing to the resistance’s infrastructure.
The Israeli security establishment sharply increased its efforts over recent months by launching a targeted assassination campaign against notable resistance leaders in the West Bank.
On 1 December, Israeli forces assassinated the commander of the Jenin Brigades of the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Mohammad al-Saidi. Weeks earlier, Israel assassinated the commander of the Lion’s Den faction, Tamer Kilani.
However, an influential Palestinian platform, Stay Aware, which is concerned with raising awareness about Israel’s intelligence operations, issued a statement rebuking the Kan TV reports.
The platform claims Kan TV spread the rumor as part of disinformation methods at the order of the Israeli security establishment, in order to distort the “image of the resistance” and lure it into a premature escalation.
Moreover, Stay Aware emphasized that the resistance is closely monitoring the deteriorating situation in the West Bank, and will assess the appropriate time to intervene with force.
Nonetheless, in the wake of the murder of a tenth Palestinian civilian in the West Bank this week, Hamas issued a statement and stressed that the resistance will not sit idly by in light of these events.
“Our resistance will not stand idly, and it will respond to this criminal enemy that killed ten of our people during the past three days in Negev, Hebron, Jenin, Ramallah and Nablus. The enemy must wait for the might of our heroic resistance,” Hamas said via a statement.
A similar rhetoric was used in similar condolences statement in the past few weeks, however, the resistance movement has not turned its words into actions yet.
On the other hand, the PIJ, in cooperation of local militant groups in the West Bank, have been behind the majority of the resistance operations in 2022.
The actions of the PIJ and its public establishment of several cells in Jenin and Nablus were part of the alleged discussions carried by the Qatari ambassador to Gaza.
However, unlike Hamas, the PIJ is not beholden to pressure from Qatar, which makes it an unpredictable belligerent in the conflict against Israel.