Yahya Sinwar, the commander of Hamas’ military wing – the Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades, said that a new war with Israel is not in Hamas’ interest.
In an interview given to Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth, Sinwar said that war “would not achieve anything,” citing Israel’s military superiority over Hamas.
“A new war is in no one’s interest,” said Sinwar, “who has the will to challenge a nuclear superpower with four slingshots? War will not achieve anything,” he stated, adding that while he has no plans to lay down his arms, ending the blockade on Gaza is his top priority.
“I’m not saying that I won’t fight anymore, but I am saying that I don’t want any more wars. What I want is to end the blockade, and my highest commitment is to act in the interest of my people, to defend them and to defend their right for freedom and independence.”
Sinwar laid the blame for the current escalation on the Gaza border with Israel, stating that “The responsibility is on whoever closed the borders, not on those trying to reopen them,” adding “My responsibility is to cooperate with anyone that can help us end the blockade. In the current state, an explosion is inevitable.”
Speaking about the possibility of a prisoner exchange, in which Hamas prisoners in Israeli prisons would be freed in exchange for the release of the two Israeli civilians who are believed to be alive in Gaza after entering the Strip, Avraham Abera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, Sinwar said he will do all in his power to free his Palestinian brethren.
“I will do everything in order to free anyone who is in an Israeli prison,” he said, adding “This is not a political issue, but a moral one. I see it as my duty.”
Written by Yona Schnitzer/TPS | Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS