HAMAS leader Dr Usamah al-Muzayni gave a wide-ranging interview to the Gaza newspaper ‘Filastin’ last weekend, warning that ‘the continuation of the siege of Gaza means explosion’.
Dr al-Muzayni stressed that his movement will continue to kidnap Israeli occupation soldiers if the enemy does not answer the demands made in the context of the prisoners exchange deal.
He also stressed that the occupation will be greatly surprised by what the resistance is preparing if it invades the Gaza Strip.
He criticised the weak Egyptian stance on the Israeli siege of Gaza.
Dr Al-Muzayni stated: ‘Kidnapping soldiers is not an aim or a hobby by itself.
‘The issue is about the prisoners.
‘If the deal on Gilad Shalit, the captured soldier in Gaza, does not achieve our objectives, and if the enemy does not answer our demands, then there is no doubt that we should exert pressure on the enemy to make it answer them.
‘The objective is to release the prisoners, and we insist on this.
‘However, if there is no answer from the enemy, then there is no doubt that the kidnappings will continue until the last prisoner is released.’
Regarding the latest update on what has been achieved in the deal, he pointed out that matters are frozen, ‘because the Israeli enemy is asking for other lists from which to pick, but we state that the resistance fighters are not fruits or vegetables that we can present to the enemy according to its taste.
‘We agreed to present a list to which the enemy should be committed.
‘As long as the enemy wants to blackmail and manoeuvre, we will not accept this.
‘We insist on the agreement reached in March 2007.’
As for Israel’s objective from escalating the tempo of its aggression against the Gaza Strip, Al-Muzayni stated: ‘The Israeli objective is an old/new one, aiming at forcing the Palestinian people to kneel down, at destroying all the opposing forces among this people, and at attempting to push the Palestinian society towards a complete surrender to this enemy.’
The Hamas leader expected that ‘the Israeli occupation will suffer great losses if it invades the Gaza Strip completely.’
He continued: ‘I do not greatly expect the enemy to do such a thing.
‘We, as a resistance movement, always expect the worst.
‘That is why the mujahideen have taken the arrangements to repel such an invasion if it were to take place.
‘There are plans to confront it and inflict heavy losses on the enemy, who will be surprised by what the mujahideen have prepared for it.’
Commenting on the reports about the presence of an Israeli plan to bring international forces to the Gaza Strip, the Hamas leader pointed out that there are many obstacles facing this and that it will not be easy to implement this plan.
He went on to state: ‘However, if the enemy is to take such a step, we will deal with any international forces deployed on our land as if they were enemy and occupation forces.
‘We will resist them in the exact way we resist the Zionist enemy.’
Regarding the statements made by some people that the Palestinian rockets give the Israeli enemy the pretext to commit additional crimes against civilians, he stated: ‘It would be very wrong to state that the rockets give the Zionist enemy any pretexts, because this enemy invades, assassinates, and oppresses even without the rockets.
‘Otherwise, what would be the justification for the recurrent invasions into the West Bank cities?
‘Are there any rockets or kidnapped soldiers?’
He went on wondering: ‘Why do we mislead ourselves and give our enemy the pretext and good interpretation for its assassinations as if we are indebted to it?
‘What is happening is that the incursions and assassinations, with or without pretexts, are part of an Israeli policy.
‘The rockets are retaliation to the aggression and not an attempt to lure it.’
When he spoke about the attacks by the security apparatuses loyal to President Mahmud Abbas on Hamas in the West Bank, Dr Al-Muzayni stated: ‘The movement does not use violence unless it is forced to do so, especially on the home front.’
He added: ‘When we moved to a military resolution, we were forced to do that and had no other choices.
‘That is why we do not treat people the way they treat us.
‘We are concerned not to fall into embarrassment regarding the Shariah law.
‘If there are some people who are acting meanly and unpatriotically, we cannot follow their example.
‘Hence, we have done nothing, because we have morals that prevent us from treating people unjustly and from arresting or closing down institutions without any accusations.’
He added: ‘Hamas members in the West Bank only can be patient, and we state to them: “Be patient people of Yasir, because you will go to Paradise”.’
Regarding the latest developments on the Rafah crossing, he answered that there are Egyptian promises about making Egyptian efforts with the foreigners and the concerned parties to open the Rafah crossing.
He continued to state: ‘We presented our conditions, one of which was that we will not accept the 2005 crossing agreement, including the presence of cameras or any intervention by the Zionist enemy.
‘We have no objection to the presence of foreigners, but they have to be either under Egyptian or Palestinian supervision.’
Regarding the possibility of reaching a new comprehensive agreement on the crossing, he stated: ‘This case needs efforts and agreements.
‘We hope that sister Egypt will be proactive with this just demand.
‘There are many meetings that still are ongoing, and there are many channels of contact between us.
‘The meetings have continued, even since the demolition of the wall, and they have not reached any results to date.
‘We hope that there will be positive results to these contacts soon.’
Regarding the possibility of opening the borders once again if the siege against the Gaza Strip continues, he stated: ‘Such operations are not a hobby, but if the siege against our people continues, then, undoubtedly, there will be an explosion.
‘However, we do not know where it will be this time.’
The Hamas leader stressed that his movement is interested in ‘good relations with our brethren in Egypt because of the status, role, and influence that Egypt has in the Arab and Islamic worlds’.
He continued: ‘Nevertheless, Egypt’s position still is not the position we need.
‘It still is not dealing in the way the Palestinian people would like it to deal with us.
‘There is so much that Egypt can present without causing any embarrassment to it, but we feel that sister Egypt is not playing that role.
‘We will take care of our relationship with Egypt, although it has certain calculations and slowly presents things that it can present without causing it any embarrassment.’
Dr Al-Muzayni denounced the large-scale media attack launched by some Egyptian writers and intellectuals against Hamas.
He stated: ‘We do not find these things strange, although we are sad that some Egyptian writers and intellectuals can reach such misleading notions, betray the trust they were given, distort matters, and present them in a wrong way that only serves the enemies.’