News ID: 128284
Publish Date : 11 June 2024 - 21:39
Says Palestinians Have Upper Hand in War

Sinwar Invokes Karbala Battle to Extricate Gaza

WASHINGTON (Dispatches) -- The military leader of Hamas, Yahya Sinwar, says the Palestinians have the upper hand over Israel in the war in Gaza, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, citing leaked messages the newspaper said it had seen.
“We have the Israelis right where we want them,” Sinwar told Hamas’ political leadership in Qatar recently, according to one of the messages, the WSJ reported. 
As Israel prepared to enter Rafah before the Muslim month of Ramadan in February, the WSJ said Sinwar urged Hamas’ political leaders not to make concessions and instead push for a permanent end to the war.
“Israel’s journey in Rafah won’t be a walk in the park,” Sinwar allegedly said in a message to the Hamas political leadership.
He had compared the war in Gaza to a 7th-century battle in Karbala, Iraq, a monumental moment in Islamic history where Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was martyred.
“We have to move forward on the same path we started,” Sinwar reportedly wrote. “Or let it be a new Karbala.”
His comments emerged as 14 of the 15 United Nations Security Council members voted in favor of a U.S.-drafted resolution on Monday, with only Russia abstaining – the first time the council has endorsed such a plan to end the war.  
The three-stage peace deal, which sets out conditions intended to lead to the eventual release of all remaining captives, in return for a permanent ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli forces, was first laid out publicly by U.S. President Biden on May 31.
Hamas welcomed the adoption of the resolution, saying in a statement it was ready to engage with mediators to implement measures such as the withdrawal of Zionist forces from Gaza, prisoner exchange, returning residents to their homes and the “rejection of any demographic change or reduction in the area of the Gaza Strip.”
The resolution says Israel has accepted the plan, and U.S. officials have repeatedly emphasized Israel had agreed to the proposal – despite other public comments from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that suggest otherwise.
On Monday, the Zionist regime vowed to persist with its military invasion in Gaza, saying it won’t engage in “meaningless” negotiations with Hamas, shortly after the Security Council approved the ceasefire plan. 
Israel’s representative to the UN, Reut Shapir Ben-Naftaly, said the war would not end until all captives were returned and Hamas’ capabilities were “dismantled”. 
U.S. Secretary of State Antony
 Blinken, who was on a trip to the Middle East, said Tuesday that in a meeting with Netanyahu the Israeli leader “reaffirmed his commitment” to the current proposal to secure a ceasefire.
An Israeli statement, however, indicated that the regime was poised to formally sign up to the three-stage ceasefire plan for Gaza, while at the same time maintaining the freedom to keep the invasion of the besieged enclave.
“Israel will not end the war before achieving all its war objectives: destroying Hamas’s military and governing capabilities, freeing all the hostages and ensuring Gaza doesn’t pose a threat to Israel in the future,” it said.
“The proposal presented enables Israel to achieve these goals and Israel will indeed do so,” the statement concluded.
Last month, less than an hour after Biden unveiled his proposal, Netanyahu insisted Israel would not end the war until Hamas is defeated.
Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour said welcomed the deal as a “step in the right direction,” but said it was up to Israel to implement those measures.
“We want a ceasefire,” he said, adding the “burden is on the Israeli side to implement this resolution.”