The following statement was released on Oct. 7 by the Deputy Head of Hamas, Sheikh Saleh Al-Arouri.
What started is not just an operation but a battle that will expand, escalate and deepen.
The battle has a goal: the freedom of our people and the liberation of our sanctities. Therefore, the battle continues, escalates until achieving the victory with the deserved freedom of our people.
We will not continue to accept the desecration of our sanctities, or the imprisonment of our prisoners in jails, or the continued siege of Gaza.
What we have in our hands will free all the prisoners from the occupation jails.
There are a large number of “Israeli” captives, and there are senior officers among the captives. The battle is still at its peak, and the freedom of our captives in prisons is imminent.
We captured senior officers from the occupation army, and we will capture more until the prisons are emptied.
The resistance is prepared for the worst scenarios, including a ground invasion. An “Israeli” ground invasion would be the best scenario for us to settle the conflict against the enemy.
We have information that the occupation army was preparing, after the holidays, to launch a major aggression against our people in the West Bank and Gaza. The battle is coming, and the aggression began with the desecration of the sanctities and the enemy’s intention to attack Gaza and the West Bank.
We are ready to defend the dignity and freedom of our people.
We hope that the resistance will cover all of Palestinian land and, God willing, there will be effective solidarity and a strong stance from both the Arab and Muslim nations.