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Hamas Announces End Of Its Truce With Israel

From a shocked and surprised Associated Press:


Hamas: Truce with Israel at end

By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press Writer

Hamas militants fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells toward Israel on its independence day Tuesday, and said they considered it the end of a five-month truce with Israel.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, whose Hamas-led government negotiated the cease-fire with its militant wing, blamed Israel: “We made great efforts at keeping the truce and there was a positive Palestinian position, but unfortunately this position was met by expanding the aggression and escalating it against the Palestinian people,” he said. “It’s not a Palestinian problem, it is an Israeli problem.”

Nine Palestinians were killed in fighting with Israel over the weekend, most of them militants, but also two civilians.

The barrage, which came on Israel’s 59th independence day, did not cause any damage or injury, but it marked the first time Hamas acknowledged firing shells toward Israel since agreeing to a cease-fire along the Gaza-Israel border in November. Hamas is tightly organized, and Israel says attacks from Gaza have the tacit approval from the militant group’s political leaders.

Israel Radio, citing military officials, said the rocket attack appeared to be an unsuccessful attempt to create a diversion in order to capture an Israeli soldier posted at the Gaza border. In June, Hamas-allied militants had tunneled from Gaza into Israel and seized an Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, who is still being held…

Hamas had held back attacks on Israel for months, especially during power-sharing talks with the Fatah movement of moderate President Mahmoud Abbas. A spokesman for the Islamic group’s armed wing said the group considered the truce over.

“The cease-fire has been over for a long time, and Israel is responsible for that,” the spokesman, Abu Obeida, told the Voice of Palestine radio station. “We are ready to kidnap more and more, and kill more and more of your soldiers.”

Of course this “truce” was only the by-product of their internal fighting.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 24th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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