Hamas deputy political chief Saleh al-Arouri said on Monday that due to recent events in the region, the terrorist organization and its political rival, Fatah, had agreed to join forces.

In an interview with Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen TV, Arouri said the Palestinian people had been stabbed in the back three times in recent months. The first betrayal, he said, was the Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” plan, the second was the Israeli sovereignty initiative and the third was the normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

In light of the “dangers strangling the Palestinian cause,” said Arouri, the Palestinian people no longer had the option of accepting the split between Fatah and Hamas.

For this reason, he said, Hamas had initiated contact with members of Fatah and with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. He went on to say that the differences between the sides were strictly political, rather than personal.

Arouri also told Al Mayadeen that Hamas and Fatah had agreed on three initiatives to be implemented by joint committees. These committees, he said, will lead the “popular resistance” in Judea and Samaria, undertake reforms in the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and mend the internal rift between Fatah and Hamas, sparked by Hamas’s hostile takeover of Gaza in 2007.

The deputy Hamas leader then threatened Israel, saying that the next conflict between the Jewish state and Gaza would be “unprecedented.”

“If there is an open confrontation, the entire Israeli home front will be involved,” he said. “We’re at the stage where we will not tolerate the pressure in Gaza, and we are ready for an open fight.”

On Sunday, a Hamas delegation led by Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut to discuss Arab countries’ new willingness to normalize relations with Israel, Hezbollah’s Al-Manar website reported.

The two discussed regional developments, as well as “the dangers to the Palestinian cause, especially the so-called deal of the century and normalization attempts by Arab regimes with the Zionist entity and the nation’s responsibility in this regard,” according to the report.

This is an edited version of an article that first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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