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News, December 2008


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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

Palestinian Suicide Bombers Parade to Warn of Retaliation Inside Israel if Gaza Strip is Invaded

Bardawil: Israeli leaders' threat to end Hamas rule will fail

[ 22/12/2008 - 11:58 AM ]


MP Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil, the spokesman of Hamas Movement's parliamentary bloc, said on Monday that Israeli leaders' threats to end the rule of Hamas in Gaza would end up in failure.

He told the PIC in an exclusive statement that the declarations by leaders of Kadima and Likud parties Tzipi Livni and Benjamin Netanyahu respectively were meant as part of the elections' media campaign to win more votes among the Zionist extremists.

The statements indicate that Hamas has become the hope of the Arab and Islamic Ummah (Nation) and not only the Palestinian people through its incessant endeavor to spur the Ummah into confronting the worst occupation in history of mankind, he elaborated.

Threats have been voiced in the past and failed and those threats would also fail, Bardawil underlined, adding that each time Israel attacked Hamas it became stronger and more entrenched in the hearts of the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic Ummah.

The Israeli leaders are afraid of Hamas because it insists on constants and rights and refuses to grant concessions in addition to its insistence on Islam and resistance, the MP underscored.

He noted that the Israeli leaders' threats coincided with the PA leadership in Ramallah's call for ending Hamas's rule in Gaza, explaining that the PA leadership had linked its fate to that of occupation.

For his part, Hamas MP Mushir Al-Masri told Quds Press that his Movement was taking Israeli threats against Hamas leaders seriously and that it would adopt precautionary measures in this regard.

He added that past experiences proved that the assassinations' policy led to counter results to what the Israelis planned.

Masri affirmed that Israeli threats do not terrorize Hamas leaders, noting that previous assassinations only led to expanding popularity of Hamas.

Abu Zuhri: Palestinian resistance has to retaliate to every Israeli aggression

[ 20/12/2008 - 10:04 PM ]


Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, the spokesman of Hamas Movement in Gaza Strip, has called on the Palestinian resistance factions to intensify the resistance against the Israeli occupation in Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

In press statements he issued Sunday, Abu Zuhri explained that the escalating IOF atrocities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip oblige the Palestinian resistance factions to retaliate strongly and in all forms of resistance.

He also said that the IOF incursion in the West Bank city of Ramallah was clear evidence of the security coordination between the IOF troops and the PA security forces under PA chief Mahmoud Abbas, as the PA security disappeared immediately prior to the incursion.

He added that the incursion into Ramallah "proves that the occupation is escalating aggression against the Palestinian people and that neither the resistance nor its rockets are the problem, because there are no rockets in the West Bank, but the problem is with the occupation which continues with its aggression with and without excuses, leaving the Palestinian resistance with no option but to defend the Palestinian people." 

He also stressed that the truce, which Egypt sponsored, between the Palestinian resistance factions and the Israeli occupation government has expired, and that it won't be extended because Israel did not comply with the conditions.

Furthermore, the Hamas officials deplored statements uttered by Husam Zaki, the spokesman of Egypt's foreign ministry, in which he alleged that Hamas wants Egypt to open the Rafah crossing point for political and not for humanitarian reasons.

"Those who ask for the opening of Rafah crossing point want to achieve political gains because Egypt sympathizes with the besieged Palestinians and it had opened the crossing point for them to allow 20000 Palestinians pass through it", Zaki was quoted as alleging.

Abu Zuhri vehemently denied Zaki's allegations, explaining that opening the crossing for one or two days every four months couldn’t be considered as sympathy. "Zaki's statements prove that Egypt was and still is able to unilaterally open the crossing point, if it indeed wanted to do so, because the border terminal falls under her sovereignty", underlined Abu Zuhri.

In the same context, Palestinian masses in the Syrian capital Damascus held a sit-in in front of the Egyptian embassy in Damascus, calling on Egypt to immediately open the Rafah crossing point before the besieged Palestinian people.

They also urged Egypt not to listen to American and Israeli dictates, stressing that the closure of the crossing point and jeopardizing lives of more than 1.5 million Palestinians living there couldn’t be justified by the pretext of "respecting international deals about the crossing point".

"The infamous crossing point agreement [which Fatah man Mohammed Dahalan signed with the Israelis] has inflicted great harm on the Palestinian people and their national struggle", underlined the sit-inners.

Palestinian armed groups threaten renewed bombing inside Israel in event of Gaza invasion

Date: 22 / 12 / 2008  Time:  14:04
Gaza – Ma’an –

Palestinian armed groups threatened on Monday to resume bombing attacks inside Israel in the event of a major Israeli invasion in Gaza or assassination of Palestinian leaders.

On Sunday, the two frontrunners in the Israeli general election, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and right-wing opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to remove Hamas from power in the Gaza Strip.

While the leaders of Palestinian armed groups said they are taking Israel’s threats seriously, political leaders in Gaza dismissed the Israeli pronouncements as election season rhetoric.

The spokesperson of Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Ubayda told Ma’an, “Israel might assassinate factions’ leaders during the coming days, but I don’t expect a major military incursion in the Gaza Strip.”

He asserted that Palestinian resistance has the option to respond to Israeli aggression including bombings in Israeli cities.

A nearly identical statement was made by Abu Ahmad, the spokesperson of Islamic Jihad’s military wing, the Al-Quds Brigades: “The group’s fighters will be ready in the West Bank for directives to undertake bombing operations inside Israel.” He said that it would not take long to launch such an attack if Israel assassinated Palestinian leaders.

The spokesperson of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Brigades, Abu Thaer, said his organization’s fighters are ready to respond to any Israeli aggression on Gaza regardless of the scale of the operation.

The An-Nasser Salah Addin Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, threatened to respond harshly to any Israeli aggression. The group’s spokesperson, Abu Ataya, said, “The Gaza Strip will not pay the cost alone; the Israelis will also have to pay a heavy toll.”

“The Gaza Strip will not be a map for easy Israeli operations. The Strip has exceeded the stage of fearing threats and armies of activists ready to blow themselves up are waiting for orders,” he added.

Nevertheless, Hamas movement spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum downplayed the Israeli threats as campaign rhetoric: “Israeli politicians fuel their elections campaign with Palestinian blood.”

Barhoum denied news reports claiming that Hamas had asked Russia to broker a new ceasefire with Israel.

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