A woman waits for a travel permit to cross into Egypt through the Rafah border crossing after it was opened by Egyptian authorities for humanitarian cases, in the southern Gaza Strip February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED SALEM)
If the blockade of the Gaza Strip is not lifted, there likely will be an “explosion,” Hamas deputy chief in Gaza Khalil al-Hayya said in an interview published Wednesday by Anadolu, a state-run Turkish news agency.
Israel and Egypt heavily restrict the movement of people and goods entering and exiting the Gaza Strip. Both countries say that it is for security purposes.
If the blockade is not removed, “we expect that there will be an explosion,” Hayya said.
Hayya made the comment after President Mahmoud Abbas suggested on Monday that he will cut all budgets allocated to Gaza if Hamas does not hand over control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority.
If Abbas stops sending budgets of an estimated $100 million monthly, the already weak Gazan economy will further deteriorate.
Hayya added that he does not know when, where or in what form an explosion would be, but he asserted that it would be directed against Israel.
In the last 10 years, Israel has fought three wars with Arab armed groups, including the Izzadin Kassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing. The last war, Operation Protective Edge, lasted for 51 days in 2014.
In the past several years, many Israeli and Hamas leaders have said they are not interested in a new war, but are continuing to prepare for one.
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