The Israeli military has said it will not allow the construction of a new factory in the Gaza Strip to begin, citing security concerns.
The Israeli military announced on Tuesday it was suspending the construction work of the facility in Khan Younis.
The announcement came hours after Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal warned of a “big explosion” if the military did not halt the project.
A spokesperson for the military said the project had been approved by the government, but it was not yet complete.
“We have given them the green light to continue to do the construction, but the work cannot be completed in the shortest time possible,” said the spokesperson.
“The work is being carried out by a contractor, and there is no time limit.
We are going to be holding talks with them to find a solution.”
Hamas, which controls Gaza, has been building factories in the coastal enclave for decades to supply parts for the Gaza strip’s nearly 3 million residents.
In the past, construction of the new factory would have taken months, and it could have cost as much as $200 million.
But in the current economic climate, the military has indicated it would only allow the project to be completed if it received permission from the Hamas-controlled government in Gaza.
“If we don’t receive this approval, then it will be a big explosion,” said Meshaum, who heads Hamas’ political bureau.
“We are not going to let this go.”
Earlier on Tuesday, a senior Hamas official, Mahmoud al-Zahar, told Al Jazeera that the government of Hamas in Gaza would not allow construction of any new factory.
“Hamas won’t permit any construction in Gaza unless the Palestinian Authority approves it, and we will not permit any work without the approval of the PA,” he said.
The Palestinian Authority has long resisted building factories, saying it is only for the Palestinian people, not for the Israeli occupation.
“This project is not for anyone, because the construction companies have no business with us,” the PA official said.
In recent years, the Israeli military launched several operations against the PA, targeting its facilities and its facilities-related businesses, and killing dozens of Palestinians.
On Tuesday, two Israeli soldiers were killed when their car collided with a truck carrying Palestinians protesting against the construction in the southern city of Khan Younes.
The military has not yet responded to Al Jazeera’s request for comment on the new announcement.
Hamas said it would continue to block any construction until the PA approved it.
“I have not made any decision yet, but I will be taking a decision soon,” said spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.
“When we have the authority to do it, then we will proceed with the construction.”