Israel defence minister rules out Hamas involvement in recent attacks

Israel defence minister rules out Hamas involvement in recent attacks
Israel's Defence Minister Benny Gantz has said he does not think the Gaza-based Hamas movement was behind anti-Israeli attacks in recent weeks
2 min read
04 April, 2022
Gantz said he had no doubt Hamas was "planning attacks" against Israel [Getty- archive]

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz ruled out Hamas’ involvement in recent attacks in Israel but said he had no doubt the Gaza-based movement was "trying to carry out operations".

"Hamas is not believed to be involved in the recent operations that took place in Israeli cities," Gantz told local broadcaster Kan, adding that "in Gaza, they know what will happen if there is an escalation."

The minister vowed to continue his meetings with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, pointing out that "these meetings are held through a weighting of opinion, and that he does not intend to be preoccupied with 'a narrow-minded' policy".

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King Abdullah II on Sunday told Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett there needed to be "calm" between Israelis and Palestinians, as violence has surged in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

A total of 11 people were killed in attacks in Israel since March 22, including some carried out by assailants linked to or inspired by the Islamic State group.

Over the same period, eight Palestinians have been killed, according to an AFP tally, including six shot dead by Israeli forces who claim they had carried out attacks or "were about to do so".

Gantz’s remarks on Hamas came less than a year before the first anniversary of the May 2021 war on Gaza, when Israel pounded the besieged coastal strip for 11 days straight, killing hundreds, wounding thousands, and causing widescale destruction.