Hamas officials said Sunday that Palestinians were headed toward a third intifada against Israel.

Hussam Badran, a Hamas spokesman in the Gaza Strip, said that Palestinians were closer than ever to a "direct confrontation" with Israel.

He said continued construction in the settlements, economic hardships and continued crackdown by the Palestinian Authority on freedoms and Hamas members was bringing the Palestinians closer to a third intifada.

Badran accused the PA security forces of working with the IDF against Hamas members in the West Bank.

Another Hamas official, Mushir al-Masri, said Palestinians were preparing for a new intifada against Israel. He also warned Israel against committing any "stupid act" against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Al-Masri said the IDF operation in the West bank would increase Hamas's determination to "continue the path of resistance." He also attacked the PA security forces for conducting security coordination with Israel.

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