The head of the Palestinian group Hamas’ political bureau hailed the positions of Arab leaders, especially Egypt’s opposition to displacing Gazans, and called on the Arab masses to show solidarity on Friday through public protests.
In a televised speech late Thursday, Ismail Haniyeh said: “We commend the position of the Arab and Muslim world, especially that of Egypt, on the issue of the displacement of Palestinians.”
Earlier on Thursday, and following talks held in Cairo between President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah, the two leaders “underlined their rejection of the policy of collective punishment, siege, starvation and displacement of brothers in Gaza,” the Jordanian Royal Court said in a statement.
Haniyeh also called on Arabs to take to the streets on Friday to demand “an end to the Israeli aggression against Gaza, and against the forced displacement of Palestinians and the creation of an alternative homeland.”
In his speech, Haniyeh praised “the mass popular movement that emerged over the past days to say that Gaza is not alone.”
He stressed that Hamas, the resistance, and the Palestinian people “have more respect for the morals, and values of humanity than the occupier,” meaning Israel.
He added: “We warned everyone that this battle could turn into a regional battle if the aggression and destruction continues, and that its continuation and spilling of blood would explode all equations and plans on the Palestinian and regional levels.”
Bombardment and blockade
The conflict in Gaza, under Israeli bombardment and blockade since Oct. 7, began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea, and air. It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
Gaza is experiencing a dire humanitarian crisis, with no electricity, while water, food, fuel, and medical supplies are running out. A plan for some aid to go through the enclave’s gate with Egypt is being closely watched.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” to ease the “epic human suffering.”
At least 3,785 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza, while the figure stands at more than 1,400 people in Israel.