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Hamas: New Israel war on Gaza unlikely

June 29, 2013 1:31 P.M. (Updated: July 1, 2013 8:14 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israel is not likely to wage another war on the Gaza Strip, though it is possible a conflict could erupt elsewhere in the region, says Hamas official Salah Bardawil.

The senior official told Ma'an Saturday that Israel was likely to point its guns at another area “after Israel obtained a green light from the US.”

He added that the US and Israel were seeking a war which would prove Israel’s military superiority, a privilege which can’t be achieved through a war on Gaza, according to Bardawil.

Asked about the crisis in Egypt, he said he did not expect a civil war there because the Egyptian people realize it will be very destructive and “civil wars are absent in Egypt’s history.”

Bardawil applauded Egypt and lauded the biggest Arab country's “historic depth” for the Palestinians, adding that whatever “harms Egypt will eventually harm Palestine more than any Arab country.”

On the ongoing unrest in Syria and the possible outcomes, the Hamas official ruled out the possibility of military intervention by the US or other Western countries. “Foreign countries can’t resolve the conflict militarily, and Arab countries must design a strategy to bring this deterioration to an end.”

Bardawil criticized Hezbollah's intervention in the conflict.

“Unfortunately, Hezbollah has been driven into a marginal battle and ignored the real enemy Israel, which reflected a negative image about the group. Intervention in the Syrian conflict isn’t in the right direction.

“It is unacceptable to take a bypass path to Palestine that goes through Syrian cities slaughtering their children and women. This is an illogical justification,” Bardawil added, responding to remarks by the secretary-general of Hezbollah Sheikh Hasan Nasrullah.

However, Bardawil added that contacts in the field between Hezbollah and Hamas are still ongoing, but addressing only one issue -- Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Syria.

As for relations between Hamas and Iran, he said that “the word 'boycott' doesn’t appear in Hamas’ lexicon.”

He said that it wouldn’t be an easy decision for Iran to sever ties with a resistance movement like Hamas “which spearheads confrontations with Israel.” Nevertheless, he said it partly froze financial support to Hamas in Gaza.

Asked about US Secretary of State John Kerry’s shuttle diplomacy in the region, the Hamas official asserted that Kerry was biased toward Israel.

“Kerry isn’t managing a crisis, but rather siding with Israel. He doesn’t even have in mind that he should address the issue justly. The US has other priorities which are much more important than the Palestinian issue, especially because the US is confident that Israel is superior militarily, and because Arab countries are busy with internal conflicts.”
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