Hamas on Saturday released a rare videotape of a man it said is the bombmaker pursued by Israeli security forces for more than a decade.
The man, identifying himself as fugitive Mohammed Deif, described Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as a victory for armed resistance, rejected calls for his group to disarm, and vowed to continue attacks on Israel until the Jewish state is erased from the map.
“You are leaving Gaza today in shame,” he said. “Today you are leaving hell. But we promise you that tomorrow all Palestine will be hell for you, God willing.”
Israeli officials on Saturday urged the Palestinian Authority to crack down on Hamas after the Islamic group released a videotape of a top bombmaker who has eluded Israeli forces for more than a decade.
In the video, the man, identifying himself as Hamas commander Mohammed Deif, described Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as a victory for armed resistance, rejected calls for his group to disarm, and vowed to continue attacks on Israel until the Jewish state is erased from the map.
Gideon Meir, a senior Foreign Ministry official, said the Gaza pullout was aimed in part at improving the atmosphere between Israel and the Palestinians. He said the comments by Deif threaten the chances of resuming peace talks, which Israel has said will depend on the Palestinian Authority’s willingness to disarm militant groups.
“Muhamad Deif is an arch-terrorist; he has personally masterminded hundreds of suicide bombings and is personally responsible for the death of hundreds of innocent Israelis,” Meir said. “His natural place is behind bars.”
“His declaration proves again why the Palestinian Authority must fulfill its duty and fight the Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades,” he added referring to the major armed Palestinian groups.
I fear that Gideon Meir will be disappointed.