In his first speech since the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza began, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said Wednesday that there are 10,000 Hamas terrorists inside Israel prepared for martyrdom if any harm comes to Jerusalem or the holy sites, as reported by The Jerusalem Post.
“We are ready for the great battle if the enemy commits a great folly in Jerusalem and the holy sites. We wanted to deliver a message to the occupation and the world that we do not make threats haphazardly so that the world knows that al-Aqsa has men who protect it,” said Sinwar, referring to the al-Aqsa Mosque where violent Palestinian riots triggered a clash with Israeli security in early May.
While Sinwar’s claim is ominous and is intended to intimidate Jews in Israel, Hamas leaders also have a history of fabricating narratives as a threat to their enemies.
“Hamas leaders lie when it suits their purposes, so there is no way from the outside to assess this claim…Hamas more likely has 1,000 rioters at its disposal than 10,000 suicide bombers,” said President of the Middle East Forum Daniel Pipes to The Foreign Desk.
While Hamas would like to appear as a threat to Israel’s existence, it is more of “a threat to Israel’s well-being,” says Pipes.
Sinwar also claimed that Israel’s rocket attacks only managed to destroy five percent of Hamas’s tunnels leading from the Gaza Strip to Israel, which would be fixed in a matter of days.
He is referring to the network of terror tunnels reportedly used by the extremist group to conduct clandestine terrorist operations against Israel.
“The occupation has failed to destroy the Hamas metro. The occupation did not achieve anything from its plans to deter the resistance, and it failed to assess the situation due to our preparations,” said Sinwar.
Sinwar also reportedly thanked the Iranian regime for assisting Hamas in its operations against Israel by providing weapons, training, and funding.