Israel responded to the threat of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) to escalate by setting conditions to ease the siege on Gaza, and announced the completion of building a wall on the borders of the Strip, while the United Nations confirmed that the blockade had exacerbated the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

And Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said yesterday - during the celebration of the Israeli occupation army's completion of the construction of a wall on the border with the Gaza Strip, after 3 and a half years of starting it - that Israel is using simple means to stop what he described as terrorism and the growing strength of Hamas, and to achieve a long-term calm. , and rebuilding, as he put it.

He added, "In order to change the reality in Gaza, our demands are simple and clear: a halt to the military build-up of Hamas, a long-term calm, and the return of our captured and missing soldiers."

Gantz called on the Hamas movement to take care of these matters rather than engage in what he described as empty threats.

With regard to the wall, which extends underground, the Israeli Defense Minister said that it is an innovative and technologically advanced project that deprives Hamas of one of the capabilities it tried to develop, and provides the Israelis with a sense of security, as he put it.

According to the Israeli Defense Ministry, the wall extends 65 kilometers and is 6 meters high, and is equipped with radars, cameras, a maritime surveillance system, and part of it is a sea barrier equipped with means of detecting intrusion by sea and a remote-controlled weapons system.


Escalation option

A leading source in Hamas told Al-Jazeera that the movement's political and military leadership is studying options for escalation with Israel, in light of the continued siege on the Gaza Strip, the slowdown in reconstruction, the exacerbation of humanitarian crises, the continuation of Israeli attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and land confiscation, and tightening measures against prisoners.

The Hamas leader stressed that the options offered are popular escalation, breaking the naval blockade with the strength of the resistance, and the military option that is being proposed vigorously.

"We will not allow the current situation to continue, and the next stage will prove the credibility of what we say," he added.

The source expressed the movement's strong dissatisfaction with the behavior of Egypt, which has been reluctant to implement its promises towards Gaza and has not yet committed to what it pledged to the movement and the Palestinian factions with regard to reconstruction, as he put it.

The leading source in Hamas told Al-Jazeera that Egypt's behavior is a abandonment of its commitment to compel Israel in return for the resistance's commitment to the truce.

The Palestinian resistance factions blamed Israel for the repercussions of the delay in lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip and the delay in the reconstruction, while the Israeli Defense Minister called on the factions to achieve a long-term calm in the Strip.

Commenting on the position of Hamas, Palestinian writer and political analyst Iyad Al-Qara said - in an interview with Al-Jazeera - that the movement's message gives what he considered a red light regarding the suffering of the Gaza Strip as a result of the siege and the slowdown in the reconstruction promises that led to the truce last May.

The Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Mustafa Barghouti, stressed that the goal of what is happening in Gaza is to tame the Palestinians to accept the fait accompli, and added - in an interview with Al Jazeera - that the Palestinians will respond with resistance.

The Israeli occupation launched an aggression on the Gaza Strip for 11 days, which ended with a ceasefire on May 21;

The attack caused the complete or severe destruction of 1,335 residential facilities, while the medium and partial damage caused 12,886 homes, according to the Government Information Office in Gaza.

Bachelet said that restrictions on access to goods and services are causing great suffering to the residents of Gaza (Reuters)

Effects of the siege

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said - during the meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People - that the people of Gaza have been suffering from a land, sea and air blockade for 15 years, which has led to a continuous and extremely devastating deterioration in the human rights and humanitarian situation.

Bachelet said severe restrictions on movement and access to essential goods and services are generating great suffering.

The UN official expressed concern over the humanitarian conditions, despite allowing some goods to enter through the Kerem Shalom crossing, which is controlled by Israel, as well as the Rafah crossing, which is controlled by Egypt.

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