by Maurice Hirsch and Itamar Marcus
Following two days in which Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired around 700 rockets at Israel, Hamas’ official TV channel warned that if Israel does not honor the understandings to Hamas’ satisfaction, the terrorist organization can disrupt the Eurovision contest as it is being held in Israel.
The footage was downloaded and translated by the Palestinian Media Watch organization, a media watchdog that monitors Palestinian Authority print and broadcast media.
After praising the performance of the joint war room of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Mu’min Meqdad, the “Hebrew Affairs Editor and Expert” for Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV, warned that Hamas can disrupt the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel.
Al-Aqsa TV “Hebrew Affairs Editor and Expert” Mu’min Meqdad: “There is no doubt that the resistance [Hamas] or the negotiator gave the occupation very little time to implement these understandings. I think that the coming days will be a test for the occupation. If the occupation evades [its responsibilities], I believe that the resistance [Hamas] can deprive the occupation the pleasure of a number of the coming opportunities, such as the European Song Contest. There is still room to maneuver in the coming days.” (Al-Aqsa TV, Hamas, May 6 2019)
Later in the broadcast, the Al-Aqsa TV editor assured the viewers that Hamas “will have the last word” :
Host: “Clearly there is a decision regarding the siege that it needs to be eased or changed in a clear manner in which the civilians will feel it, because the situation here in Gaza is very difficult.”
Mu’min Meqdad: “[Hamas] will monitor… the implementation of the understandings… If the occupation changes its mind or evades these things, there is no doubt that the resistance will have the last word.”
Currently, the “understandings” between Israel and Hamas that ended the rocket fire have not been publicized, but the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations do not only expect a ceasefire from Israel, but also an easing of the blockade on the Gaza Strip, imposed by Israel to prevent smuggling of weapons to the terrorists.
If the agreement is not implemented in accordance with the understanding of the terrorist organizations, this interview implied that Hamas always has the option of renewing rocket attacks any time before or during the Eurovision contest, which begins next Tuesday, May 14, in Tel Aviv. The finale of the Eurovision takes place on Saturday, May 18.
The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most important annual European cultural events, and is viewed on television by 180 million people. It is being held this year in Israel because Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won last year’s contest.