Hamas Leader Warns of ‘Religious War,’ Threatens Jewish Synagogues Worldwide

Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar. Photo: Mahmud Hamas / AFP.

May 1, 2022

The commander of the Hamas in the Gaza Strip issued an implicit threat against Jewish synagogues worldwide on Saturday, amid simmering Jerusalem tensions and an ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism across Israel that has left 15 people dead in recent weeks.

In an over hour-long speech, delivered less than a day after a 23-year-old Israeli man was murdered in Ariel in the latest Palestinian attack, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar said, “Our people must prepare for a great battle if the occupation does not cease its aggression against the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

“Violating Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem means a regional, religious war,” he added.

Gesturing at a photo of Israeli police confronting rioters inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sinwar declared, “Whoever makes the decision to allow this photo to be repeated, the violation of Al-Aqsa — he has decided to allow the violation of thousands of synagogues all across the world.”

Antisemitic rhetoric is commonly used by Hamas officials, and the Islamist terrorist group’s 1988 founding charter is replete with references and conspiracy theories vilifying Jews.

Hamas does not recognize Israel, in any borders, and its guiding goal is the destruction of the Jewish state.

Sinwar on Saturday also threatened to fire 1,111 rockets at Israel at the start of the next round of fighting — a reference to the November 11, 2004 death date of late Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat.