Hamas said on Thursday that it views Israel’s intentions to extend its sovereignty over parts of the Jordan Valley, Judea and Samaria as a declaration of war.
“The resistance considers the decision to annex the West Bank and the Jordan Valley a declaration of war on our people, and we will make the enemy bite the fingers of remorse for this sinful decision,” Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida said in a speech broadcast on Palestinian television.
Hamas timed the announcement to coincide with the date marking the anniversary of the kidnapping in 2006 of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit by Hamas terrorists who used a cross-border tunnel in a raid that killed two other IDF soldiers. Hamas held Shalit hostage for five years before releasing him in a controversial 2011 prisoner exchange in which Israel freed 1,027 Hamas and Palestinian prisoners, most of them convicted terrorists.
Abu Obeida also said another prisoner exchange deal with Israel was a priority for the terrorist group.
“We remind the Zionist enemy that there will be no deal without the release of senior prisoners and prisoners whose hands are tied with the blood of usurped occupiers,” Abu Obeida said, implying Hamas wants Israel to release more Palestinian terrorists convicted of murdering Israelis.
Hamas is holding Israeli civilians Hisham al-Saeed and Avera Mengistu as hostages as well as the bodies of two IDF soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed in the 2014 Gaza war sparked by Hamas.
Source: World Israel News