(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas threatened to ignite a third intifada on Thursday as the IDF continued to arrest Palestinian suspects in the West Bank as part of Israel's search for three teens kidnapped last week.
"We are capable of igniting a third Intifada and this is our irrevocable right. It will go off when enough pressure is exerted on the Palestinian people," said Hamas senior official Salah Bardawil on Thursday.
Bardawil made his statements during a solidarity rally for the director of Hamas's TV network in the West Bank. He was detained by IDF forces on Wednesday. The rally was held in the Gaza Strip where Bardawil added, "We will not stand idly by in the face of occupation in the West Bank," and claimed that the purpose of Israel's ongoing operation in the West Bank was to "wipe out Palestinian resistance."
"Israel is also trying to sabotage the [Fatah-Hamas] reconciliation," he stressed.
Fatah has previously condemned similar comments made by Hamas officials with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calling the statements "irresponsible" and even "suspicious."
"These three boys are human beings like us, and they should be returned to their families," the Palestinian leader told foreign ministers
at an Organization of the Islamic Conference gathering in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.
Abbas also said that those behind the kidnapping “want to destroy us,” adding that they would be held accountable for their deed regardless of their identity.
Since the start of operations in the wake of the kidnapping of three teens, 280 Palestinians have been arrested, 53 of whom were freed in the deal to secure the release of Gilad Schalit .