On May 9, 2022 the Hamas website Palinfo.com posted an article by Suleiman Abu Sita titled “The Strategic Importance of the Palestinians Inside [Israel] in Any Future War.” The article claims that “the Palestinians inside Israel,” i.e., the Israeli Arabs, have distinct advantages in a confrontation with Israel because they live in proximity to population centers and major traffic arteries throughout the country, and can therefore cause significant damage with relative ease. The author proposes several ways in which they can harm Israel, such as pouring oil on a major highway; blocking important roads in the south, where large military bases are located, and thus cutting them off from the rest of the country; blocking rail traffic by placing rocks on the tracks; sabotaging aircraft in their bases by firing on them or flooding the hangars; starting forest fires, torching strategic factories and institutions, etc.
The following are translated excerpts from this article:
“The number of Palestinians in the occupied interior [i.e., Israeli Arabs] is two million, which means they are a significant and influential force that troubles the Zionist entity [i.e., Israel] – especially since they have significant strengths that the occupation started noticing following the Sword of Jerusalem campaign [the May 2021 round of fighting in Gaza]. During this campaign, these citizens confronted the occupation and its settlers, while their brethren in the Gaza Strip were fighting a heroic battle in response to [the events] at Al-Aqsa, which faces vicious Zionist aggression. The action [of the Israeli Arabs] worried the occupation forces, which started to include among their military considerations the possibility that Palestinian youths inside [Israel] may impede the movement of military forces and sabotage their military operations and plans. [They were also forced to consider] the possibility that large-scale clashes with the settlers [i.e., with Jewish Israelis] would erupt, which the police would be unable to deal with, [a development] that would necessarily require bringing in the military, thus affecting its performance in other areas and exhausting it by engaging it in tasks other that its main mission.
“What makes the impact of the Palestinians inside [Israel] even greater is their proximity to the Zionist settlers’ population centers, so that if one of them wants to carry out an operation, he can do so immediately, without having to cross borders and checkpoints, for he is right in the midst of the enemy. The Palestinians inside [Israel] have significant strategic strengths, for they are dispersed throughout Palestine, from Acre and Haifa in the north to the Negev in the south, through Ramleh, Lod and the Triangle in central [Israel], which means that their activity affects the entire [Israeli] entity, not just a specific area.
“In case of a confrontation, the Gaza Strip, for example, cannot actively impact the northern [parts of] of occupied Palestine. Likewise, if the Lebanese resistance [i.e., Hizballah] joins the conflict with the enemy, it cannot actively impact the south of Palestine. But the Palestinians inside [Israel] can affect the entire [Israeli] entity, especially since the enemy cannot isolate these Palestinians and besiege them…
“[Another] of their strengths is their proximity to major highways in occupied Palestine [i.e., Israel], which means they can cutting off these roads and completely immobilizing the traffic on them – both military and civilian. Consider what can happen if a single young person spills [large] quantities of oil on Highway Six, one of the [Israeli] entity’s major highways, which connects the south and the north and is considered a crucial artery in case of a confrontation with the resistance in Lebanon [i.e., Hizballah]. This highway is close to Wadi ‘Ara where there is a very significant concentration of Palestinians.
“This can happen on a wider scale in the Negev, where the Palestinian population is spread over a large geographical area. Its [Palestinian] residents can block dozens of crucial roads, isolating Beersheba, and perhaps [all] of southern Palestine – where the most important military and air bases of the [Zionist] entity are located –from the north and the center [of the country], where most of the population is concentrated. The same is also no doubt true of the rail traffic, which can be blocked and immobilized very easily. We can imagine, for example, how much disruption can be caused by placing [large] amounts of rocks along the train tracks in the Negev.
“The Palestinians of the Negev can also effectively actively impact and [harm] dozens of strategic military and air bases near the areas where they live. The Zionists have complained in the past that some of them sabotaged important military equipment and seized [large] quantities of weapons. Just a few months ago two Zionist soldiers were killed by their own forces while attempting to combat such operations.
“Imagine the scope of the damage that would be caused to the aerial capabilities of the [Israeli] entity in the event of all-out war, if some Palestinians of the Negev fired on the advanced fighter jets while they were on the ground inside their hangars or damaged them in any other way, for instance by setting them on fire or dousing them with water.
“Moreover, the geographic proximity of the Palestinians inside [Israel] allows them to carry out operations which seriously endanger the [Israeli] entity with minimum effort. They can set fire to forests, vital factories and important institutions. This can paralyze many capabilities of the entity during the confrontation, divert the attention of its institutions and distract them.
“These are some of the strengths of the Palestinians inside [Israel], which greatly increase their ability to confront the Zionist entity in any future war. This sows deep concern and foreboding in the heart of the Zionist enemy.”
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