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Islamic Jihad: Hamas asked officials to maintain ceasefire

Jan. 22, 2014 11:48 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 24, 2014 10:38 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas recently contacted officials in the Islamic Jihad movement to ensure the group observed the terms of a ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt in November 2012.

Jihad spokesperson Daoud Shihab told Ma'an that Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh telephoned Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ramadan Abdullah Shallah and his deputy Ziad al-Nakhalah to ensure the group maintained the ceasefire.

Egyptian officials have also been in contact with senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials concerning ceasefire arrangements, Shihab said.

"Israel gives itself the right to intervene in the Gaza Strip and take action against any resistance fighter, which is an attempt to disavow the ceasefire agreement of 2012," Shihab added.

Palestinian factions are "not interested in escalation, but if Israel insists and continues with targeted assassinations, they have to bear the consequences," the Islamic Jihad official said.

An Israeli airstrike on Wednesday killed two Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip.

A day earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to teach Hamas a lesson "very soon" after recent cross-border violence.

Over the past month, tensions have risen in and around Gaza after more than a year of relative calm following Israel's war on the coastal territory in November 2012 which killed over 170 people, mainly civilians, and injured thousands.

Since Dec. 20, six Palestinians and an Israeli have been killed in violence in and around Gaza.
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