Resistance warns it’s ready for “major battle” if Israeli attacks continue

Man in a suit gives a speech at a podium against a backdrop

Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, delivers a speech in Gaza City on 30 April 2022.

Ashraf Amra APA images

Israeli occupation forces arrested two Palestinians accused of fatally shooting an Israeli guard on Friday at the colony of Ariel in the occupied West Bank.

Surveillance footage of the incident shows a car pulling up next to a security kiosk. Two men exit the vehicle, approach the kiosk and shoot inside of it. After briefly walking back to the car, they return to the shack and appear to fire again.

The man who had come out of the passenger seat is seen walking away from the car he arrived in as the other man drives away.

In a still from another angle, the vehicle the men were driving appears to have a yellow Israeli license plate.
As soon as the shooting begins, a car approaching from behind reverses and exits the frame.

Vyacheslav Golov, a 23-year-old Israeli security guard living in Ariel, was reported dead in the shooting. He is the first Israeli to be killed by a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of the year. Fifteen others were killed in present-day Israel.

One of the largest settlements in the occupied West Bank, Israel established Ariel in 1978 on Palestinian land under the pretext of declaring it a military zone.

Located in the “heart of the Salfit district,” it is surrounded by a wall that separates seven Palestinian villages north of it and severely hinders nearby urban development in Salfit, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.

All of Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Syria’s Golan Heights are illegal under international law and are considered a war crime.

In building settlements, Israel perpetrates massive human rights violations against the occupied Palestinian population, including home demolitions, forced displacement and land theft.

Two Palestinian men in their twenties, named by Israel as Samih al-Assi and Yahya Miri, were captured by occupation forces in the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan near Salfit on Saturday after a 20-hour manhunt.

The Israeli military published pictures of what they said were improvised Carlo rifles used in the attack:

Israeli media claim Golev was killed while shielding his fiancée, who was also guarding the post. He was from Beit Shemesh in Israel but renting an apartment in Ariel.

Under international law, Palestinians have the right to use armed resistance against Israeli military occupation. Israel, however, characterizes any and all resistance to its military occupation as “terrorism.”

The killing of the security guard occurred after weeks of increased Israeli attacks on Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa mosque compound during Ramadan, killings of Palestinians and sweeping arrest campaigns in the occupied West Bank.

There have also been several attacks by Palestinians inside Israel that have claimed more than a dozen lives.

In a speech on Saturday, Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, warned Israel that there would be “major battle” between Israel and Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza if Israeli occupation forces continued to attack worshippers and holy sites in Jerusalem.

Tensions tend to rise during the month of May as Palestinians commemorate the Nakba – the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by Zionist paramilitary forces.

Israel celebrates its so-called independence day during that month, as well as the Israeli-invented “Jerusalem Day” that celebrates its 1967 occupation and illegal annexation of East Jerusalem.

Sinwar promised the resistance in Gaza would fire 1,111 rockets into Israel at the beginning of renewed fighting with Israel, symbolizing the 11 November 2004 anniversary of the death of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

That pledge is likely intended to deter Israel from launching another major attack on Gaza like the one last May that left more than 250 Palestinians, including almost 70 children, dead.

Sinwar also took aim at Israel’s recent attacks on Christians in Jerusalem.

“The world does not want to see Israel’s racist policies and its defiance of UN resolutions and international law,” Sinwar said.

Referring to Israel, Sinwar added that “the racist fascist entity violated the Church of the Holy Sepulcher,” and he emphasized “that Jews are distinct from the Zionists.”

This latter point reflects Hamas’ established policy that the resistance organization does not oppose Jews or Judaism, but rather resists Israel and the Zionist political ideology it uses to justify its violent colonization of Palestinian land.

Ali Abunimah contributed analysis.


Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.