In the latest round of cross-border fighting, which erupted over the weekend, Palestinian militants fired more than 700 rockets into Israel, killing four Israeli civilians, the first Israeli fatalities from rocket fire since the 50-day war in 2014, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge. On Monday, an Egypt-mediated ceasefire was reached between Palestinian factions and Israeli officials.
"I anticipate a war to erupt in the summer, following Israel’s attempts to disarm the Palestinian factions in Gaza,” the terror group’s leader Ziad al-Nakhala said in an interview to Al-Mayadeen, adding the ceasefire was reached “just hours” before the militants in the Hamas-ruled enclave planned to launch rockets at Tel Aviv.
Nakhala also said the IDF’s recently adopted policy of bombing multi-storey buildings and homes of factions’ leaders in the Strip, would not remain unanswered.
He claimed that Israel’s promise to implement the understandings reached in an earlier ceasefire deal from March (which include lifting of the Gaza blockade) is what convinced the terror groups to hold fire.
In addition, Nakhala accused Israel of constantly trying to "drive a wedge between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority," claiming the relationship between Hamas and Fatah is stable. "The coordination between us and Fatah is at the highest level."
Nakhala thanked Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, for allowing the factions to “retaliate” to Israel killing two Gaza militants in an aerial attack on Friday, which came after two Israeli soldiers were wounded in a cross-border exchange of fire.
The terms of the latest deal were not immediately known, but recent ceasefires have been short-lived.