Yihya Sinwar
Yihya SinwarReuters

Hamas’s Gaza leader, Yahya Sinwar, declared on Wednesday that the terrorist organization would no longer control Gaza and that move will be permanent.

"This decision is a strategic one and there is no going back. Hamas will be completely out of the picture,” he said, according to comments quoted by the Hebrew-language Walla! news website.

Sinwar added that the split between Hamas and Fatah had harmed Hamas as a resistance movement, saying that it "harmed all of us as a people and as a liberation movement, so we must end the division at any price."

In his remarks, Sinwar also addressed U.S. President Donald Trump's statement that Washington recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said that "Trump’s actions on Jerusalem require rapid steps to reconcile and end this tragic chapter in the history of the people."

He added that "we are concerned about the possibility that reconciliation will fail and will continue for many years. The continuation of the current situation will have disastrous consequences, and therefore Hamas will not be part of the destruction. This declaration is a real opportunity to overcome the obstacles on the way to reconciliation."

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in October, as part of which Hamas was to transfer power in Gaza by December 1. That deadline was initially put back by 10 days and last week had reportedly hit “obstacles”.

Sharp disagreements remain between Fatah leader and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, particularly over the fate of public employees in Gaza and security control of the enclave.

Abbas has demanded that the armed militias in Gaza disarm as part of the implementation of the agreement, but Hamas has categorically rejected this demand.