Amid the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict, a disturbing message has emerged from Hamas Commander Mahmoud al-Zahar, where he speaks of his group’s ambitions for global supremacy. More than one minute of video footage featuring the senior Hamas official has gone viral on the internet, in which he asserts that Israel is merely the initial target and that they aim to extend their influence over the entire world. The warning comes at a time when Israel has declared a war against Hamas over the shocking weekend attack in which hundreds of Israelis were killed.
“Israel is only the first target. The entire planet will be under our law,” Zahar said in the video.
“The entire 510 million square kilometers of Planet Earth will come under a system where there is no injustice, no oppression, and no killings and crimes like those being committed against the Palestinians and against the Arabs in all the Arab countries, in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and other countries,” he said.
Hours after the video surfaced, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement reaffirming his commitment to continuing the fight against Hamas, saying that every member of the Palestinian group was “a dead man”.
“Hamas is Daesh (the Islamic State group), and we will crush them and destroy them as the world has destroyed Daesh,” he said in a brief televised statement.
Meanwhile, Hamas operatives holding Israeli soldiers and civilians hostage have threatened to execute a captive for each home in Gaza hit without warning by Israel. There was no indication Hamas had carried out its threat.
Israel has formed an emergency unity government, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sitting in a war cabinet with former defence minister Benny Gantz.
The move came as the Israeli military pounds Gaza to root out the Palestinian group Hamas ahead of a possible ground offensive in the Palestinian coastal strip.
Calling Hamas worse than ISIS, Mr Netanyahu listed some of the atrocities committed on Saturday, including the burning of people alive.
He added that every family in Israel is in some way connected to a victim of the attacks.
“We will all fight together for our home,” he added, and he described the “unprecedented” support that Israel has received from world leaders.
“We have gone on the offensive… Every member of Hamas is a dead man,” he declared.
Mr Netanyahu concluded by saying that all of Israel stands behind its soldiers and that Israel will win.
“We are all one; we are all enlisting; we have all enlisted (in the fight),” declared Benny Gantz.
“There is only one camp, the camp of the Nation of Israel,” he said, adding that the new partnership with Mr Netanyahu is not a political one but one of fate.
“All of Israel is under Order Number 8 (the order sent to reservists for an emergency wartime call-up),” said Mr Gantz, adding that such unity in government is what the Israeli people want and need.
Most of the 2.3 million people in the Gaza Strip have no electricity and no water. And, with hundreds of Israeli strikes raining down on their tiny enclave, they have nowhere to run. With the strip’s only other border, Egypt, blocked by Egyptian authorities, the people said they were trapped.