Anyone who watched through the television screens the huge funeral of Al-Jazeera reporter Sheerin Abu Akla must have noticed that only “Palestine” flags were hoisted during it. Not a single flag of the Hamas movement is seen in the area, this is after during the month of Ramadan, the color green dominated almost all events, especially at events on the Temple Mount.

Abu Aqla’s death fell like a thunderbolt on a clear day on the PA, but she recovered, hurried to leverage it for her political needs and thus overtook Hamas. The religious of the Hamas movement.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas hurried to embrace her as a symbol of the Fatah movement. He held an official funeral for her at a military ceremony in Mukata in Ramallah, near Yasser Arafat’s grave, and from there the funeral procession left for East Jerusalem with Palestinian flags hoisted all the way. Black, white, green and red.

The Hamas movement is concerned about the PA chairman’s move, which they believe is spoiling the momentum of the move they launched about a year ago in Operation Wall Guard, and focuses on the liberation of Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque. Hamas officials estimate that the PA’s move to leverage the journalist’s death to politically condemn Israel as a “war criminal” was doomed to failure in advance. They express support for her appeal to the court.

Hamas wants to return the Palestinian agenda to focus on Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque. This is the fuel that lights up the street and pushes it towards a new intifada, not the death of the journalist who was identified as one of the PA trumpets through al-Jazeera. Khaled Mashaal, the leader of Hamas abroad, gave an interview on May 15 with The East Jerusalem Quds, in which he stated that “Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque are the title of the struggle (against Israel),” and that the affair of “the killing of Sheerin Abu Akala proved the fragility of the occupation.”

The Palestinian agenda will naturally return to the guidelines set by Hamas regarding Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque as “Jerusalem Liberation Day”, “Asset Day” (the outbreak of the Six Day War in 1967) and Shavuot approach.

The terrorist organization does not refer to Operation Guardian of the Walls, which lasted 11 days as a short round of fighting, but as the first chapter in the overall campaign for the liberation of Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He calls it the “Sword of Jerusalem” system (Sif al-Quds) that will last until the ultimate goal. Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said that “the sword has been pulled out and will not be returned to the bandana until all the goals have been achieved.” In other words, the Hamas movement is in an open campaign against Israel, a kind of war of attrition from one memorial day to the next.

This situation requires a clear decision on the part of Israel, which cannot be conducted in a situation in which its security forces are stretched to the limit for several months. It should be remembered that the month of Ramadan and the days of Palestinian remembrance exist every year and it is impossible to agree that the State of Israel will be subjected to terrorist threats for several months in a row each year.

On the anniversary of Operation Guardian of the Walls, Hamas celebrates its four main achievements:

A. Unification of all Palestinian arenas against Israel – especially in the Arab sector and in the cities involved.

B. Positioning of Hamas as a “Star of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque” in the eyes of Palestinians and Arabs around the world.

C. Strengthening the status of Hamas on the Palestinian street at the expense of the PA.

D. Exposure of the weak points of the Iron Dome system.

The Hamas leadership now wants to lead the war of attrition against Israel through terrorist attacks and riots in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, to enable the civilian rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip from the damage of the last war, the rehabilitation of the destroyed tunnel infrastructure and the renewal of rocket supplies.

Yahya Sinwar, Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, said a few days ago in an internal forum in the Gaza Strip:

“Under no circumstances will we allow Israel to gnaw at any of the achievements of the ‘Jerusalem Sword’ system, we will maintain the achievements and we will not allow the Gaza Strip to be dragged into the cycle of violence.

Simultaneously with the attempt to launch a new intifada in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Hamas continues the process of military intensification in the Gaza Strip: restoring the tunnel system and renewing the rocket inventory and developing them to continue preparations for war with Israel. The next round of fighting is expected to be longer and more violent, Hamas is determined to establish its achievements and even achieve new ones.


Yoni Ben Menachem is an Orientalist and senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public and State Affairs. The column was first published on the website of the Jerusalem Center for Public and State Affairs.

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