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Hamas fighters threaten renewed violence if Israel does not lift siege

Nov. 6, 2008 4:26 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 6, 2008 4:26 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas' armed wing threatened to renew military action against Israel if its blockade of the Gaza Strip is not lifted by the expiration date of a ceasefire with Israel.

The spokesperson of the Al-Qasam Brigades, Abu Ubeidah said in a press conference in Gaza on Thursday, "We will not extend [the truce] as long as Israel is not committed to lifting the siege and opening the crossings."

"Our commitment to the truce was not weakness. We are not anxious towards it. We are able to hit the heart of Israel in case of any [Israeli] military operation in the Gaza Strip."

Palestinian armed groups renewed fire of homemade projectiles into Israeli areas near Gaza on Tuesday night in response to a deadly Israeli incursion in Gaza.

Israel has killed seven Palestinians in Gaza in three days, the most serious violations of the June 19 ceasefire to date. The truce is scheduled to expire on 19 December.

A Tuesday night rocket attack on the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon, about 10 km from the border with Gaza, Abu Ubeidah said, was "a message to the occupation that we are able to shell them [the Israelis] wherever they are."

Abu Ubeidah also denied the claim by the Israeli military that Hamas fighters had dug a tunnel near the Israeli border in Al-Qarara, planning to abduct Israeli soldiers. Israel launched its attack on Tuesday in response to the alleged tunnel, releasing a grainy aerial photograph showing its location.
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