Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, told a group of students and academics in Gaza on Saturday that his terrorist organization has the capability to demolish Tel Aviv and claimed that Israel only destroyed 3% of Gaza’s terrorist tunnel network in the latest conflict.
“G-d has decreed that we must attack Tel Aviv, and there are other capabilities we have not revealed,” Sinwar said, adding that Hamas and its terrorist partners could “destroy Tel Aviv” by launching 130 missiles at the city per minute.
He also criticized the Arab countries that have signed normalization deals with Israel, notably the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco), claiming they ignored the Palestinians and led to what he described as Israeli aggression.
Sinwar went on to say that Hamas used only “50% of its power” in the last round of fighting with Israel and that its strategic goal was to “unite the people behind Hamas.”
“Israel has failed to destroy our capabilities to resist it. Their plan to kill ten thousand fighters failed,” he said, adding that “Israel did not destroy more than 3% of the tunnels in Gaza. The [Hamas Metro] was not destroyed because we love our land and it loves us back.”
The claims by the terror group contradict the IDF, which has said that it destroyed upwards of 100 kilometers (60 miles) of Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip in recent fighting.
Sinwar said Hamas’ strategic goal was to “break the pride of this criminal and arrogant enemy.” He scoffed at Israel for building a 70-yard-deep wall along the border with the Gaza Strip, adding: “What kind of a state is this that has to build such a wall? Israel is thousands of times weaker than the home of a spider. Israel is a weak, shaky state.”
The terror leader also said that any future fighting would “reshape” the region, and cited the need to “defend” Jerusalem.
“Every Palestinian will defend us remaining in Jerusalem and in Sheikh Jarrah,” Sinwar said. “If the conflict breaks out again – the shape of the Middle East will change. We have proven there are those willing to defend the al-Aqsa Mosque and are ready to pay a heavy price. We foiled a Zionist, Talmudic and biblical project to divide the al-Aqsa mosque in time and space” between Muslims and Jews.
Sinwar then addressed the countries of the world, calling on them to invest in Gaza and pledging that the funds won’t be used in a war with Israel.
He also intimated that Hamas wasn’t interested in re-engaging in talks in Cairo with the Fatah movement, calling it a waste of time.
“Any talk of governments and conferences whose purpose is to waste time is useless and unacceptable,” he said.
Addressing the Palestinian Authority’s proposal to form a unity government after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas canceled parliamentary elections, the Hamas leader said the Palestinian Liberation Organization must be restructured to represent all the Palestinian factions and “establish a national strategy for managing the conflict [with Israel] and to realize some of the aspirations of our people.”
He stressed that the Egyptians, the Fatah leadership and the world need to understand that “the PLO without Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] and other factions – is just empty political theater.”