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Hamas armed wing abandons ceasefire with Israel

Aug. 19, 2011 11:51 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 20, 2011 11:32 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The military wing of Hamas, the Al-Qassam Brigades, has called off a ceasefire with Israel and will allow factions in Gaza to respond to Israeli attacks, Al-Aqsa Radio reported late Friday.

"There can be no truce with the Israeli occupation while it commits massacres against the Palestinian people without justification," a representative of the militant group was quoted as saying.

Al-Qassam "calls on all factions to respond to the Israeli occupation's crimes."

Air attacks have killed at least 13 Palestinians in 24 hours, after Israeli leaders threatened to respond harshly to an operation Thursday near Eilat that left eight Israeli citizens dead.

Israel blames a group of Gaza militants for the shooting attacks near the Egyptian border, but the Popular Resistance Committees has denied that its operatives were involved.

Hamas, too, has denied charges by Israeli officials that the attacks "originated" in Gaza.
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