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Hamas claims involvement in West Bank attack

Sept. 1, 2010 2:05 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 1, 2010 3:08 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Islamist Hamas movement's armed wing has claimed responsibility for Tuesday evening's deadly attack that left four Israeli citizens dead near Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

In a statement, the Al-Qassam Brigades claims "full responsibility for the heroic operation carried out Tuesday evening (31/8) near the town of Bani Naim east of the occupied city of Hebron. Four Zionist rapists were killed."

Al-Qassam spokesman Abu Obeida said the "blood of the Palestinian people enabled our freedom fighters to successfully implement this heroic operation, which comes as the first in a series of operations responding to the crimes of the occupation."

He stressed that "This operation is a natural reaction to the occupation's crimes targeting our people in the occupied West Bank, who responded to the crimes of the Zionists and rapists who target mosques and holy sites."

He said the operation sent several messages. "The first message is that despite the war being waged to eradicate the resistance, it has the power to confront the occupation so long as it persists and exists and can strike at the time and place of its choosing."

The second message, he said, is to demonstrate the continuation of resistance and holy war. The operation comes in this context. It comes in response to the crimes of the occupation and the crimes of Zionist occupiers against our people, particularly in the occupied West Bank."

He stressed that "this operation will not be the last," noting that "it is part of a series of operations being carried out by the Al-Qassam Brigades, God willing, within the framework of the strategy of resistance and in the framework of responding to the occupation's crimes."

Regarding the occupation's threats to launch attacks in response to this operation, Abu Obeida said, "The occupation is trying to draw a false equivalency with this operation, which is a reaction to the crimes of the occupation and a legitimate right in the face of the brutality being waged by the occupation against our people."

He said: "The occupation is continuing its aggression, which acts without justification for its aggression, while we respond to these crimes."

He pointed out that "this heroic operation took place in the Palestinian territories that have been under occupation since 1967, targeting the crimes of the Zionist occupiers, who have recently escalated their crimes against our people, and is thus a legitimate operation and but a small reaction to all these crimes that cannot be tolerated."

He stressed that "the resistance, and formost the Al-Qassam Brigades, is ready to respond and deal with the situation as it develops and in the context of protecting our people and responding to aggression."

Concerning reports of the start of a joint campaign between the Palestinian Authority with Israel in pursuit of Hamas militants, he said that "it is unprecedented in [the PA's] dark history to take such action against the resistance."

He added: "The operation in Hebron sends a clear message and all attempts at eradicating holy war and resistance will not succeed, and we are not affected by them, God willing."
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