Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar hosts a meeting with members of Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza City on 13 April 2022. (Photo credit: Attia Muhammed/Flash90)
A summit of Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza, led by Hamas, issued a joint statement calling for mass mobilization of the people of the West Bank to gather at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the upcoming Friday prayers on 15 April.
The mobilization defies the Israeli ban on Palestinian men between the ages of 12 and 40 from praying at the Islamic holy site during the month of Ramadan.
Meeting on 13 April, the leaders of various Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza stated they are “declaring a general mobilization in all places where our people are located. We are calling on the masses to come out in the hundreds of thousands to protect our nation and our mosque.”
The resistance leaders consider the plans by Israeli extremists to desecrate Al-Aqsa Mosque with ritualistic animal sacrifices as a red line that will lead to further escalation, especially if the extremist settlers are supported or joined by officials in the Israeli forces.
A Hamas official warned about the possibility of participation by Israeli forces in an interview on 12 April.
Palestinian resistance factions confirmed in a press statement issued after their meeting in Gaza, that “the occupation leadership bears full responsibility for any repercussions of this dangerous Judaization step.”
Palestinians in the West Bank have recently been rising up against intensified military crackdowns on various Palestinian cities and towns, which followed a recent attack against Israelis in Tel Aviv where the Palestinian shooter, 28-year-old Raad Hazem, successfully evaded capture for an extended period of time.
After failing to arrest the father of Hazem in the city of Jenin, repeated crackdowns on the West Bank city took place, which were met with fierce local resistance.
Since the beginning of Ramadan, Israeli occupation forces have intensified their aggression and repressive practices against Palestinians.
During the Israeli crackdown in the West Bank, several civilians were killed.
An unarmed Palestinian widow and mother of six children was gunned down in Bethlehem on 10 April.
Over the past 24 hours, five Palestinians were gunned down by Israeli occupation forces, including Qusai Hamamra, a teenage boy in the Bethlehem district, as well as Shas Kamamji, the brother of Gilboa Prison escapee Ayham Kamamji.
With tensions already high, further provocations could spark retaliation from Palestinian resistance movements, not only in Gaza, but also in the West Bank. This may create a situation that may be more extreme than Operation Sword of Jerusalem in May 2021, which involved Gaza alone, and saw Israel militarily defeated after only 11 days.