Israel Warns Hamas: Don’t Mar International Holocaust Gathering

YERUSHALAYIM -
gaza terror
An Israeli soldier seen near balloons released by Palestinians from the Gaza Strip. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90, File)

Security officials issued a warning to Hamas – do not attempt to mar the gathering of world leaders in Yerushalayim Thursday. Any terror attack or rocket firing that Gaza terrorists conduct will be responded to with “full force,” officials warned the terror group.

A report on Channel 13 quoted officials as saying that Israel was preparing for the possibility that Gaza terrorists would attempt to take advantage of the gathering of world leaders commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Yerushalayim on Thursday. Dozens of world leaders – including 24 presidents, 4 kings, and 4 prime ministers will be attending the ceremonies at Yad Vashem. Among the world leaders set to participate are Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Emmanuel Macron, President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of Italy Sergio Mattarella, President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen, Spanish King Felipe VI, Britain’s Prince Charles, and many others.

In recent days, Hamas terrorists have stepped up their attacks on Israel. Last Wednesday, Gaza terrorists fired four rockets at southern Israel, and their have been numerous balloon terror attacks in recent days. Security officials now see the runup in attacks as connected to Thursday’s events, in which the Gaza terror groups will seek to provoke Israel into responding to attacks, thus creating an embarrassing situation for Israel while world leaders are in the country. Hamas announced that beginning Sunday night it would redeploy its “confusion units,” groups that play loud music and shine lights along the Gaza border in order to interfere with the sleep of Israelis who live in the area. Hamas has used the groups before, but halted their activities after IDF action.

A report in the Lebanese al-Ahbar newspaper said that Hamas and Islamic Jihad had decided to step up their attacks in order to pressure Israel, which they believe has been dragging its feet on a deal for a long-term ceasefire. Under that deal, Israel will issue thousands of work permits to Gaza residents, ease restrictions on imports to Gaza, and help develop infrastructure. Hamas will prevent rocket attacks on southern Israel and limit riots along the Gaza border fence. That latter condition has already been fulfilled, with the terror group holding demonstrations on a monthly instead of a weekly basis.

Israel will not allow that to happen, officials have warned Hamas, according to the report. Israel will initially quash any rocket attacks with Iron Dome defensive missiles – extra Iron Dome batteries have been deployed in southern Israel – and if attacks do take place, Hamas can be sure it will pay for its actions, the report quoted officials as saying.