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Hamas official says Israel 'playing with fire'

Aug. 27, 2011 4:55 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 28, 2011 8:24 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Senior Hamas official Ahmad Bahar on Saturday accused the Israeli government of trying to drag the Gaza Strip into a war and said it was "playing with fire."

Israel has not learned from its previous failures and seems to forget the strength of the Palestinian resolve, the Palestinian Legislative Council member said in a statement.

Bahar said the Palestinian nation was ready to "sacrifice its souls" for the land but Israeli troops were not. He advised the Israeli government to think carefully before attacking.

Hamas on Sunday agreed a ceasefire with Israel, brokered by Egypt, following a sharp escalation in airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and a barrage of rockets fired into Israel over four days.

The truce broke on Tuesday, when Israeli warplanes killed two Islamic Jihad militants and the faction responded by firing projectiles over the border.

A new ceasefire was declared early Friday by Islamic Jihad following the renewed violence.

On Saturday, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine's armed wing said it fired a Grad rocket at Ashkelon in response to "Israeli crimes."
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