Gallant Warns of Hamas, Iran, and Hezbollah Violence During Ramadan

By Yoni Weiss

Palestinians make their way through an Israeli checkpoint to attend the last Friday of Ramadan in Al-Aqsa Mosque, in Beit Lechem, in 2023. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned Tuesday that Hamas, along with Iranian proxy groups, is planning to escalate violence during the month of Ramadan. Gallant emphasized that Hamas aims to make Ramadan the “second phase of Oct. 7,” focusing on violence in Yerushalayim, particularly around the Temple Mount. He highlighted the involvement of Iran and Hezbollah in amplifying Hamas’s goals. Gallant stressed the need to prevent this plan from succeeding and urged actions to bring calm to the region.

Referring to the earlier multi-front war attempt, Gallant emphasized that Israel should not allow Hamas to achieve a “unity of the battlefields” across Yehudah and Shomron, Lebanon, and Syria. The defense minister’s warning comes ahead of the expected start of Ramadan on March 10, with Israeli leaders considering ground forces entering Rafah, Hamas’s stronghold, if a hostage release agreement is not reached. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu indicated that the operation would proceed with or without a deal.

There are considerations to impose restrictions on access to the Temple Mount, given previous incidents of clashes and heightened terror activities during Ramadan in recent years. Meanwhile, Hamas has threatened an “explosion” of rage if Israel restricts access to the Temple Mount during Ramadan.

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