Hamas’ spokesman Abdul-Latif al-Qanu made the remarks on Wednesday, addressing the regime’s refusal to enable the territory’s reconstruction following an 11-day Israeli war in May, various Palestinian and other Arab news outlets reported.
Around 260 Palestinians, including scores of children and dozens of women, were killed during the war. A report published by the Gaza Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) on Tuesday put the damage at about $380 million.
“We will never wait for long. The occupying regime has to respond to the Palestinian nation in Gaza’s demands and take action towards eliminating the siege,” the Arabic-language Rai al-Youm news website reported.
Tel Aviv withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but laid the siege on the impoverished enclave of now more than two-million-strong population after Hamas rose to power there.
The movement and its affiliated groups have been defending the enclave in the face of incessant Israeli aggression, including the last war. During the war, the resistance fired more than 4,000 rockets towards the occupied territories.
‘Israel’s procrastination could trigger another war’
Qanu said the regime’s failure to live up to the agreements that have been made as part of the truce that ended the war–including facilitation of Gaza’s reconstruction–will result in a buildup of tensions in the territory.
“Resistance movements have warned that the Zionist enemy’s continued procrastination in lifting the siege and acting on the ceasefire agreement would lead the region towards another war,” he said.
He demanded that the regime not tie the issue of enabling Gaza to recover from the damage to other issues such as the release of the Israelis, who are in Hamas’ custody.
The potential release of the Israelis, the spokesman said, would only take place in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners, and did not have anything to do with the issue at hand.
While delaying Gaza’s reconstruction, Qanu said, the regime had made it harder for bare necessities to enter the territory and had also held up aid that has been offered by Qatar.