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Hamas redeploys forces along Gaza border

Feb. 4, 2014 10:45 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 6, 2014 8:40 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas government in Gaza has redeployed security forces along its borders with Israel to prevent rocket fire, an interior ministry official said Tuesday.

Islam Shahwan said that the interior ministry's role is to "secure and fortify the home front and the agreements approved by resistance factions to realize our people's interests, security and stability."

The "resistance in Gaza will not allow the occupation to violate the ceasefire which had been reached after the occupation was defeated in the 2012 battle," he added.

Days earlier, a security source in Gaza said that Hamas had withdrawn a special security force tasked with preventing rocket fire at Israel.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source told AFP that while the 600-strong rocket-prevention force was removed, regular security forces remained in place.

The force was removed in protest against Israeli attacks on Gaza.

On Jan. 21, Hamas said it had deployed forces in Gaza to "preserve the truce" with Israel that ended the last major confrontation in November 2012.

Israeli forces have killed six Palestinians and injured 41 in attacks on Gaza in January, Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman for Gaza's Ministry of Health, said last week.
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