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'We must teach Israel a lesson...': Hamas official vows to repeat Oct 7 attack, US responds

Hamad said that the group is willing to make sacrifices, as over 8,800 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip. Hamad remarked that Israel's existence was 'illogical' and should be wiped off all 'Palestinian lands'.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Gaza Published on: November 02, 2023 13:44 IST
Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas' political bureau
Image Source : AP Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas' political bureau

As the Israel-Hamas war reached its 27th day, a senior member of the Palestine-based militant group has hailed the brutal October 7 attack and vowed that it would repeat similar attacks many times in the future to 'destroy' the Jewish country.

Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, said that Israel has no place on Palestinian land and that the former constitutes a security, military and catastrophe to the Arab and Islamic nations, reported the Times of Israel.

"We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do it twice and three times. The Al-Aqsa Storm is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth... Will we have to pay a price? Yes, and we are ready to pay it. We are called a nation of martyrs, and we are proud to sacrifice martyrs," he said in an interview with Lebanese media on October 24.

Further sharpening the conflict between Palestine and Israel, Hamad remarked that Israel's existence was 'illogical' and should be wiped off all Palestinian lands - by which he means the West Bank, Gaza and Israel. He also claimed that Hamas had not intended to harm civilians, but there were "some complications" on the ground.

"We are the victims of the occupation. Period. Therefore, nobody should blame us for the things we do. On October 7, October 10, October one-millionth, everything we do is justified," he further said.

US responds to Hamad's remarks

The video of Hamad's remarks was widely circulated by Israeli and Western officials, ostensibly to justify Israel's relentless bombardment of the Gaza Strip and its position that no ceasefire could be reached until the Hamas group is completely eliminated.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby condemned the "chilling comments" made by the senior Hamas official. "That’s what’s at stake for the people of Gaza — that Hamas is willing to continue this fight and will continue to try to slaughter innocent Israelis. And I think it’s important for us all that — those are chilling comments. We all ought to pay attention to them, and we need to take them seriously," he said at a press briefing.

Hamas has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union (EU) for its waves of suicide bombings and rocket attacks towards Israel.

Situation in Gaza

More than 8,800 Palestinians have been killed in the war, mostly women and minors, and more than 22,000 people have been wounded, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Wednesday, without providing a breakdown between civilians and fighters.

Over 1,400 people have died on the Israeli side, mainly civilians killed during Hamas’ initial attack. Palestinian militants also abducted around 240 people during their incursion and have continued firing rockets into Israel.

Around half of the hostages are believed to be citizens from as many as 25 foreign countries, including an estimated 54 Thais, 15 Argentines, 12 Americans, 12 Germans, six French and six Russians. Qatar mediated negotiations that resulted in the release of four hostages - two Americans and two elderly women. Israel says that Hamas released them due to pressure.

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday called for a 'humanitarian pause' as calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war continue to grow over the rising death count in the conflict-torn Gaza Strip. The White House has so far rejected calls for an immediate ceasefire.

At least 335 dual nationals and 76 injured Gazans seriously wounded and sick people crossed the Rafah border crossing from Gaza to Egypt, with more expected to follow. Biden hailed regional partners for their help in paving the way for some wounded Palestinians and foreign nationals, including some US citizens, to escape Gaza.

ALSO READ | 195 Palestinians killed in two rounds of Israeli strikes on Jabaliya refugee camp, claims Hamas


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