Hamas Defiant over Israeli Crackdown
Mere hours after the Knesset Security Cabinet decided to give the internal security minister a freer hand to harshen conditions for jailed Hamas terrorists, the Gaza-based terrorist organization released an official statement in response.
"We've experienced attacks like this from Israel in the past, but we stood through them. The Hamas movement is not a movement of dozens, hundreds or thousands, but instead is a full stream. Arresting hundreds of our sons won't stop us, won't change our path and won't separate us from our obligations to our Palestinian people," Hamas wrote in the statement.
Hamas has been charged with Israel as being responsible for the kidnapping of three teenage students last Thursday; IDF and security forces continue the intensive search to bring the youths home. Over 200 Hamas terrorists have been arrested so far, in an effort to crackdown on the terror group's infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.
"The (Hamas) movement called on the Palestinian public in Hevron and in general to continue supporting the administrative prisoners hunger-striking in the prisons of the occupation, and not to let the occupation hide the topic," wrote Hamas.
The statement refers to 80 Arab terrorists who were hospitalized after refusing to eat for nearly two months. Israel has presented a controversial bill to force-feed them.
Likewise, Hamas called on the Palestinian Authority (PA) to free all Hamas prisoners, saying "we call for the unification of all the parties to stand against the Zionist attack and to defend the unity."
The PA and Hamas have had a sort of falling out over the kidnapping, with the PA celebrating it even while distancing itself from Hamas and reportedly threatening to break the unity pact over the Hamas abduction. Hamas for its part has condemned the PA for allegedly cooperating with Israel in the search.
The statement was signed with the following words: "freedom to the prisoners, jihad to us - victory or a martyr's death. Hamas movement, Hevron region."
IDF efforts have largely focused on the Hevron region in their search, given that a cell phone signal of one of the abducted teens was located from the Hevron region last Friday right after the kidnapping.