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Hamas blusters for Israeli coronavirus aid

Hamas has neglected the health system of Gaza for years, so its only weapon against the coronavirus is threatening Israel or offering a deal for help.
GAZA CITY, GAZA - DECEMBER 16: Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, attends the event marking the 31st anniversary of the establishment of Hamas at Al Katiba Square in Gaza City, Gaza on December 16, 2018. (Photo by Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar spoke directly to Gaza via Hamas' television network April 2. Sinwar told residents about how Hamas is preparing for the war against the pandemic. Among other things he showed them how the keffiyeh, or headscarf worn by Muslim men, could help them protect themselves and their surroundings. He then spoke directly to Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, saying that Hamas doesn’t need any help but threatening, “If ventilators are not brought into [Gaza], we’ll take them by force from Israel and stop the breathing of six million Israelis.”

Now as in the past, such threats from Sinwar and other Hamas leaders are intended to tell the people of Gaza that the organization is still strong and has options. However, these baseless threats revealed what really concerns Sinwar. He is worried that the novel coronavirus pandemic will spread to Israeli prisons and infect Palestinian security prisoners being held there. For the first time ever, a Hamas leader stated that he is willing to compromise on the issue of prisoners.

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