Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar threatened to kill millions of Israelis if the Gaza Strip doesn’t receive ventilators to combat the coronavirus.
The Times of Israel reported Sinwar alleged the Israeli government is blocking medical aid from entering Gaza. “If ventilators are not brought into [Gaza], we’ll take them by force from Israel and stop the breathing of 6 million Israelis,” he said.
There are more than 9 million people in Israel; approximately 6.7 million of them are Jewish, according to Jewish Virtual Library (JVL).
Sinwar also said Hamas might be willing to engage in a prisoner swap with Israel, saying the terror group is hoping for Israel to release elderly “prisoners as a humanitarian gesture in light of the corona crisis,” according to Ynet News. TOI noted Hamas has held the bodies of Israeli soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who Hamas kidnapped and killed in 2014.
Pro-Israel activist Arsen Ostrovsky tweeted, “Why doesn’t [Sinwar] just quarantine himself in one of those tunnels?”
Why doesn't he just quarantine himself in one of those tunnels? https://t.co/ZwNBqtDUGh
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) April 2, 2020
Israel does have a blockade against Gaza; however, the Israeli government provides humanitarian aid in the form of food and medicine to Gaza, per JVL. The Jerusalem Post reported on March 21 that the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) delivered “hundreds of coronavirus testing kits, and 1,000 protective medical gear kits” to Gaza.