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Haniyeh: Hamas not seeking new war with Israel

Jan. 2, 2014 4:55 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 4, 2014 9:18 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Thursday that Hamas did not seek a new war with Israel, a week after an upheaval of violence in the Strip left an Israeli Civil Defense employee and a Palestinian toddler dead.

"We always expect treacheries from our enemy, yet our people shouldn't be obsessed with a new war," Haniyeh said at the graduation of a class of security officers in Gaza City.

But Haniyeh also noted that Hamas was ready to face any emergency.

Hamas, he added, is ready to "mitigate relations with our Arab brothers, and despite the fog which overshadowed the relation with Egypt."

"We can't do without Egypt or other Arab countries," Haniyeh said.

Haniyeh said his government would soon make major moves "to create a better environment to help achieve national and communal reconciliation. Every single Palestinian citizen will feel these decisions."

Soon after the Muslim Brotherhood was declared a terror organization in Egypt, PLO officials called on Hamas to break its ties with the Brotherhood, some referring to the latter as a "terrorist group."

In late December, both Fatah and Hamas officials said they had renewed their commitment to national reconciliation.

The division between the two factions began in 2006, when Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections.

In the following year, clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of parts of the occupied West Bank.
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