In a statement released on Saturday, Ismail Haniyeh pointed the finger at the Tel Aviv regime and its spy agencies for the escalation of violence among Arabs in the occupied lands.
“We hold the Zionist occupation responsible for the blood and the murders running wild inside the lands of 1948,” he said.
“The security arms of the Zionist enemy play a dangerous role that aims to engage our people in another struggle to forget their religious and historical ties to the Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank, and in exile.”
Haniyeh also called on Palestinian intellectuals and people to focus their efforts on the Palestinian cause.
He further underlined the need for an integrated strategy to end the murders, warning that the continuation of such a bloody path only serves the occupation.
Earlier in the day, Shiekh Sami Abed al-Latif, the imam of Kafr Qara’s central Quba Mosque, was shot and killed. The 60-year-old imam was reportedly known for his role in helping resolve conflicts within the Arab town.
The killing came two days after a double homicide in Kafr Qara.
A total of 166 Arabs have been killed in homicides in 2023, an all-time high and more than double the figure at the same last year, according to the Abraham Initiatives, an anti-violence advocacy group. Most of the victims were killed in shootings.
Hamas spokesman for the city of al-Quds, Muhammad Hamada, said criminal gangs, organized by Israel’s so-called internal security service Shin Bet, commit such crimes in a bid to weaken the Palestinian society and create sedition and security chaos.
In the face of dangerous Israeli plots, the Palestinian community in the occupied territories should exercise vigilance in an attempt to protect its national identity and defend the holy al-Aqsa Mosque, he added.