ISRAELI foreign minister Eli Cohen’s threat of killing leaders of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas exposes the regime’s frustration over its defeat against the resistance forces, says a top Hamas official.
In remarks cited by Al Jazeera on Wednesday, Cohen threatened Palestinian leaders with assassination, saying, ‘We will kill (top Hamas officials) Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshaal and they will not die a natural death.’
Izzat al-Rishq, a member of the political bureau of Hamas, rebuked the Israeli minister on Thursday, saying his remarks were ‘shameful’, and indicated the regime’s desperation with its failure to achieve its proclaimed goals in Gaza.
Israel has a long history of carrying out assassination plots against leaders of Palestinian resistance movements.
The regime’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last month that he had ‘instructed the Mossad to act against the heads of Hamas wherever they are’.
Meanwhile, Palestinian resistance movements say the occupying regime’s savagery, as manifested in its assassination attempts over the years, will not deter Palestinians from their struggle to free their land.
‘The threats to murder Hamas leaders are clearly indicative of the political and military quagmire that the Zionist occupation is facing’ following the Gaza onslaught, Taher al-Nunu, an advisor to Haniyeh, said earlier this month.
Cohen’s threat comes while the Hamas chief has traveled to Egypt to discuss a potential new Gaza truce involving an exchange of Palestinian abductees for Israeli war prisoners and the entry of more aid to Gaza.
The head of Hamas’ political bureau says the Palestinian resistance has stood ‘firm on the battlefield’ despite two and a half months of Israeli war crimes in Gaza.
‘The Zionist regime and its allies thought that they could eliminate the resistance this way and force it to raise the white flag,’ Haniyeh said in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian in Doha on Wednesday.
‘The resistance, however, has still stood firm and steadfast on the battlefield and inflicted heavy damage on the Zionist regime after 75 days of Israeli crimes and mass murders as part of its scorched-earth policy,’ he said.
Israel waged the devastating war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas carried out a surprise operation against the occupying entity in response to its decades-long violence against Palestinians.
The bloodiest-ever war on Gaza has so far killed nearly 20,000 people, mostly women and children and injured more than 52,000 others, with thousands more believed lost and buried under rubble. The regime has also cut off most water, food and power supplies into Gaza.
- Nineteen prison guards of the Israeli regime have severely beaten Palestinian inmate Thayer Abu Assab to death, the Tel Aviv regime admits, according to a report.
In a report on Thursday, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency said that Israeli regime authorities had confirmed that 19 jailers of the Israel Prison Services (IPS) were involved in the severe beating of 38-year-old Abu Assab that led to his death last month.
Citing a report by Israel Hayom Daily, Wafa added that the Palestinian prisoner from Qalqilya city in the northern parts of the occupied West Bank was murdered by regime’s guards in Israel’s Ktzi’ot Prison, which is the regime’s largest detention facility located in the Negev desert.
The daily stressed that all 19 prison guards involved in the assault had been released under ‘restrictive conditions’ until the investigation ends.
Israeli minister for the so-called national security, Itamar Ben Gvir, has already voiced his firm support for the jailers, claiming they were not guilty until proven otherwise.
The Israeli regime reportedly keeps around 4,900 Palestinians, including 160 children and 31 women, in prison.
Earlier, the Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs Commission had confirmed that Israeli regime authorities had murdered Abu Assab, who had been detained since May 27, 2005, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
The commission condemned the regime for carrying out systematic and premeditated assassinations against Palestinian prisoners.
The regime’s jail authorities keep Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions without proper hygienic standards, and they have also been subject to systematic torture, harassment, and repression.
Back in April, a joint report by a group of Palestinian rights advocacy groups revealed that the occupying entity is keeping about 4,900 Palestinian inmates, including many women and children, behind bars.
- The United Nations has condemned as ‘sadistic’ Israel’s attacks on the health sector of the besieged Gaza Strip, as the death toll in the war-torn Palestinian enclave exceeds 20,000 and the UN Security Council delays vote on desperately needed aid.
In a post on X on Wednesday, Francesca Albanese, UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, warned that the Tel Aviv regime’s attacks on the health system of the densely-populated Palestinian sliver had taken ‘the most sadistic forms’.
‘Israeli occupation forces’ assault on Gaza’s health system is taking the most sadistic forms. Hospitals & medical personnel are sacred, especially at a time of great destruction, suffering & despair as this senseless war against the people in Gaza,’ she said.
Albanese’s warning comes amid the regime’s continuous missile attacks on hospitals and health workers across the Gaza Strip despite global outcry.
The Israeli regime waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s atrocities against Palestinians.
Since the start of the US-backed offensive, the Israeli regime has killed more than 20,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 52,586 others. Thousands more are also missing and presumed dead under the rubble.
Earlier this week, Doctors Without Borders said six of its staff were among hospital workers and patients who were stripped, bound, and interrogated by invading Israeli troops after they took over al-Awda Hospital.
The hospital remains under military siege, leaving the entire northern part of the Gaza Strip without any type of medical service.
Late last week, the World Health Organisation sounded the alarm about Israel’s destruction of the Kamal Adwan Hospital in the city of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip amid reports that the regime’s forces buried Palestinians alive at the facility’s courtyard during the operation.
UN also says Gaza’s health system remains under siege and is barely functioning.
Separately on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on X that life-saving aid remained ‘severely’ restricted in the war-torn Gaza Strip.
‘Intense fighting, lack of electricity, limited fuel & disrupted telecommunications severely restrict the @UN’s concerted efforts to provide life-saving aid to people in Gaza,’ the UN chief warned.
Guterres’s remarks came as the UN Security Council again postponed voting on a resolution aimed at sending more humanitarian assistance into the war-ravaged enclave.
‘Conditions to allow for large-scale humanitarian operations need to be reestablished immediately,’ Guterres said.
At least 27 people have been killed in Israeli strikes on two residential buildings in southern Gaza, with victims still being reported to be under the rubble.
In yet another development on Wednesday, Israeli military forces had ordered immediate mass evacuation in Khan Younis in southern Gaza.
The order covers around 20 percent of the central and southern parts of the city, which was home to more than 111,000 people before the outbreak of the current war. It now includes 32 shelters housing over 141,000 internally displaced people coming from northern Gaza.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the notification of the forced relocation was announced online on Wednesday.
‘The scope of displacement resulting from the order to evacuate is unclear,’ the UNOCHA said in a report.
The UN agency, citing the UN Human Rights Office, also reported that Israeli forces had killed at least 11 Palestinian men and wounded an unspecific number of women and children in a residential building in Gaza City in what may amount to a war crime.