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Gaza 'ready to explode,' Hamas leader says

April 19, 2008 12:26 P.M. (Updated: April 19, 2008 12:26 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Saturday's car bombing attack on the Karem Shalom crossing point was a warning of what could be a popular explosion in the face of Israel's ten-month siege of the Gaza Strip, Hamas leaders said on Saturday.

Hamas called on Palestinians to demonstrate peacefully in front of the Erez terminal, the main crossing into Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip. Hamas officials said that a protest at Erez would refute reports that Hamas is planning to topple once again the Rafah border wall into Egypt.

Hamas leader Ayman Taha called for action to ease life in Gaza before Gazans explode in anger. He warned that Israel would respond violently to any such outburst.

He told Ma'an: "Israel should expect more of such explosions."

He added: "The Gaza Strip is facing death in every moment and the world must rulfill its responsibilities before the outbreak of fire and before the occupation loses its senses."

Meanwhile, Hamas leader Khalid Mash'al met with former US President Jimmy Carter in Damascus on Saturday morning. Taha told Ma'an that talks between them would focus on the issue of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who is held by Palestinian fighters in Gaza, and the Rafah border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.

Taha also said that Egypt has assured Hamas that it will release Hamas fighter Ayman Nofal, who is detained in Egypt.

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