Middle East Monitor / August 27, 2023
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday threatened Hamas leaders to pay the “full price” amid rising tensions in the occupied West Bank, Anadolu reports.
“Hamas and other Iranian proxies understand very well that we will fight with all means against their attempts to promote terrorism against us – in the West Bank, in Gaza, and anywhere else,” Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting as cited by The Jerusalem Post newspaper.
“Whoever tries to harm us, whoever finances, whoever organizes, whoever sends terror against Israel – will pay the full price,” he said.
His threat came one day after Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri said the Israeli government will suffer a “resounding defeat, which would lead to their withdrawal from the entire West Bank.”
“The leaders of the occupation government, with their extremist policies, will cause an all-out war in the region,” the Hamas leader told the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV channel.
Speaking of Al-Arouri, Netanyahu said that: “He knows well why he and his friends are in hiding.”
Israel labels Palestinian attacks as terrorism and blames Al-Arouri for attacks in the West Bank.
Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said Saturday that Al-Arouri might be at the top of the Israeli assassination list.
On August 22, Israel’s security cabinet gave Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant absolute power to take any decision related to targeting Palestinian gunmen.
On Saturday, Palestinian group Hamas claimed responsibility for a shooting attack that killed two Jewish settlers near Nablus last week.
Tensions have been running high across the occupied West Bank in recent months amid repeated Israeli raids into Palestinian towns along with attacks and assaults carried out by settlers who are usually guarded by the Israeli army.
More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of this year, according to the Health Ministry. At least 34 Israelis – soldiers and settlers – have also been killed in Palestinian attacks during the same period, marking the highest figure of Israeli fatalities since 2005.