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Top Hamas official: We'll seize West Bank if Israel withdraws

This is a discussion on Top Hamas official: We'll seize West Bank if Israel withdraws within the Global Affairs forums, part of the Main Topics category; Top Hamas official: We'll seize West Bank if Israel withdraws By Reuters The militant Islamic organization Hamas, which seized control ...

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    Default Top Hamas official: We'll seize West Bank if Israel withdraws

    Top Hamas official: We'll seize West Bank if Israel withdraws

    By Reuters


    The militant Islamic organization Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip in June, would take over the West Bank if Israel pulled out of the territory, a senior Hamas leader said on Friday.

    The comments by deposed Palestinian foreign minister Mahmoud al-Zahar contrasted with remarks by Ismail Haniyeh, who serves as prime minister of a Hamas-led government dismissed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

    Haniyeh said earlier this week that Hamas had no intention of repeating its Gaza takeover in the West Bank, where Abbas' secular Fatah faction remains dominant.

    "Israel says the party in Ramallah [Fatah] serves Israel, and if Israel quits the West Bank, Hamas will take it over. And we say this is true," Zahar said at a rally for Hamas supporters in Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza.

    Last month, a Hamas leader in Gaza had caused an uproar among Abbas' aides when he said Hamas activists would one day pray at Abbas' headquarters in the West Bank, as they had done in Gaza.

    Hamas Islamists took over the Gaza Strip after routing forces loyal to the Western-backed Abbas. Israel and the United States are trying to bolster Abbas, who dismissed the Hamas-led government and formed his own cabinet in the West Bank.

    Israel declared the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip an "enemy entity" and closed its borders with the coastal territory, allowing only humanitarian aid to enter.

    "We say to those in the West Bank take a lesson from what happened in Gaza," Zahar said, an indirect reference to the fierce violence that led to Hamas' takeover of the coastal strip.

    Israel has warned that Hamas would be poised to take over the territory were it to withdraw its forces.

    Source: Haaretz

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    Israelis will be 'cut to pieces' in Gaza: Hamas

    JABALIYA, Gaza Strip (AFP) -
    A top Hamas leader warned Israel on Friday that its soldiers would be "cut to pieces" if the army launched a much threatened widescale offensive on the Islamist-run Gaza Strip.

    "The occupiers should know that if they intend to enter the Gaza Strip they will leave cut into pieces," Mahmud Zahar told a Hamas-organised rally in Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip.

    Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak warned late last month that every day brought closer the prospect of a full-scale military operation against the Gaza Strip to curb frequent rocket attacks on Israel.

    Zahar also said an international meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict the United States is preparing to host later this month would fail.

    "Meet each other as often as you want but you won't get the homeland back or liberate the holy places. The autumn meeting does not frighten us," he said.

    "The autumn leaves will fall but so will the yellow flags," added Zahar, alluding to the colour of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's moderate Fatah party, which Hamas routed in an armed Gaza takeover five months ago.

    Instead, he counselled Fatah in the occupied West Bank to "learn the lesson of what happened in Gaza."

    Source: AFP

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    Dont forget to smile - Gaza 2007

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