On the Israeli large-scale offensive on the Gaza Strip, Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh states the following:
The Israeli occupation forces started a new round of violence against the Palestinian civilians last Friday when they abhorrently targeted the Palestinian peaceful protesters at the Great Return March, killing and wounding a number of Palestinian civilians deliberately and intentionally. On the same day, the Israeli forces opened fire on a group of Palestinians who were three kilometers away from the separation fence.
Since Friday, the Israeli occupation has intensified its attacks on civilian targets in the Gaza Strip, striking homes, civilian locations, and governmental sites and killing infants, women, and elderly people. In response, the Palestinian resistance faction decided to defend the Palestinian people against the Israeli flagrant attacks. They also responded to the Israeli violations in order to pressure the Israeli occupation to stop the aggression and implement the agreed-upon ceasefire understandings.
We stress that the more atrocious the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian civilians are, the stronger the Palestinian response will be.
Given that the Israeli occupation has rejected to implement the ceasefire understandings and stalled on time to evade them, it has provoked the anger of the beleaguered People in Gaza. Then, the Israeli occupation forces perpetrated atrocious crimes against humanity by targeting civilians and attacking civilian locations, killing Palestinian civilians only.
On the contrary, the Palestinian resistance factions, above all al-Qassam Brigades, have responded to the Israeli attacks calculatedly.
Hamas stresses that calm can be restored only after stopping the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip and implementing the ceasefire understandings by the Israeli occupation. The Palestinian people besieged in the Gaza Strip for more than 12 years demand their basic rights only, as per all international laws and conventions.
Finally, if the Israeli occupation does not implement the ceasefire understandings, the battlefield will witness more escalation.
Head of Hamas Political Bureau
May 5, 2019