Hamas says it is still capable of 'war of attrition' against Israel

Hamas says it is still capable of 'war of attrition' against Israel
Senior Hamas negotiator Zaher Jabareen stated that Palestinian factions are still able to fight Israel as negotiations for a truce stall.
3 min read
14 May, 2024
Zaher Jabareen said that Hamas was capable of conducting a war of attrition against Israel [Getty]

A member of Hamas' ceasefire negotiations delegation in Cairo has told The New Arab's sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that the group is capable of "conducting a war of attrition" against Israel over the near future.

"We are on our land and we will defend it whatever the cost," Zaher Jabareen said.

"Insisting on the our people's rights and the liberation of their land is the most crucial means to exert pressure we have," he continued, adding that "today the whole world is speaking about the rights of the Palestinian people and their protection".

In a wide-ranging interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Jabareen spoke about the rift between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the US administration.

He said this was due to conflicting interests, with the US aiming to retain control over the conflict and prevent regional ramifications it couldn't control, whereas Netanyahu was intent on staying in power.

Jabareen also said talk of Qatar reviewing its mediation role could be because whenever a deal was being discussed seriously, Netanyahu's far-right coalition partners would threaten to topple the government and Netanyahu would engage in distraction tactics, such as attacking Qatar.

Regarding criticism of Hezbollah for their participation in the conflict "being less than the scale hoped for", Jabareen denied this, stating that Hezbollah was engaged in one of the "most extensive military efforts in its history", and that it "coordinates its actions fully with the resistance's leadership in Gaza".

As for the Israeli captives, he stressed that Netanyahu was in control of "whether they were killed by hunger, disease, or Israel's ongoing military operations", or whether they would be saved.

On Israel's possible plans to replace Gaza's current police force with another body, which some suggest would be a US security force, Jabareen said "we won't accept any organisation connected to […] the Israeli occupation which will entrench the re-occupation of Gaza […] and we will deal with it as we deal with the occupation".

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Whether political unity between Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and other factions was possible, Jabareen said it was, "if the major issues were agreed upon, the most important of which are the establishment of the state, the liberation of our land, the expulsion of the occupier from it, and the reconstruction of Gaza".

He dismissed Israel's claims that the Egypt-Gaza border was the main route by which weapons were being smuggled to Hamas.

Israel's desire to control the Philadelphi Corridor on the Egyptian border was political, Jabareen said, but it was using the allegation of weapons smuggling to push its agenda, whereas most weapons in Gaza were locally made or had entered years ago.

Regarding Israeli-US efforts to ensure Hamas have no future role in governing Gaza, Jabareen said: "Our Palestinian people have the right to choose who will lead them, and […] and we accept that the ballot box should determine our role and political influence. At the present stage, we won't leave the Palestinian arena and the rights of our people to the American-Israeli agenda that seeks to liquidate our people's rights."

This article is based on an article which appeared in our Arabic edition by Ayman Al-Masri on 13 May 2024. To read the original article click here.