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Gaza factions 'coordinating response' to Israel

Oct. 10, 2012 5:30 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 11, 2012 5:48 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas is coordinating with other Palestinian factions in Gaza to respond to Israeli aggression, Hamas official Mahmoud Zahhar said Wednesday.

Palestinian factions operating in Gaza are nationally committed, he said.

Zahhar made the comments during a meeting of Hamas members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, saying the Islamist group and other resistance factions are responding to "the crimes and practices of the Israeli occupation."

Ahmad al-Mudallal, a senior Islamic Jihad leader, has confirmed that coordination between his movement and Hamas is at its best both politically and militarily.

"Joint committees have been created and they meet every now and then to coordinate political performance within the Palestinian society," al-Mudallal told Ma'an.

Militant groups linked to Islamic Jihad, Fatah and others have launched a volley of rockets across the Gaza border since Sunday in response to an Israeli airstrike on a busy neighborhood in Rafah that killed one Palestinian and injured 10 others, including five children.

Israel's army said it had targeted two Jihadi militants.

On Wednesday Hamas' military wing claimed that it fired three rockets at Israeli military vehicles east of Rafah, forcing them to withdraw.

The Israeli army confirmed that two rockets landed in the Eshkol region.

The recent Israeli escalation is continuing ahead of the US election, and Arabs and Muslims will pay in blood a toll of success for any US president-elect, Zahhar said.

Israel broke a six-month truce with Hamas on the US election night in 2008. The attack was seen as a precursor of the three-week "Cast Lead" operation.

The official said his party had no role in sending an unmanned drone into Israel, even though it was accused of doing so, adding that Israel is increasingly afraid of changes in the region.

On Tuesday a senior Israeli commander told the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv that a large-scale military operation into Gaza was "inevitable" due to continued rocket fire.

The commander said Israel's only option to stop rockets was to launch another military offensive similar to Cast Lead, which killed some 1,500 Palestinians and destroyed thousands of homes.

Abu Ahmad, a spokesman of Islamic Jihad's military wing, warned Israel against another war.

"It seems the occupation has misinterpreted the resistance' quietness, but the Zionists should be aware that we can trouble them and terrify them every time and in every place," he said.
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