Hamas has withdrawn its security force responsible for preventing rocket launches targeting Israel from the Gaza Strip, AFP reported on Sunday.
"The field forces that are posted near the border with Israel were withdrawn yesterday evening to protest the latest escalation and Israeli attacks against Gaza," a security source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The special rocket prevention force that was withdrawn consisted of 600 people, the source said. Regular Hamas security forces remained stationed along the border with Israel, according to the source.
Last month the IDF reported a dramatic increase in terror activity originating in Gaza during the month of January.
Fourteen rockets landed in southern Israel, and five were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system as they were approaching the area surrounding Ashkelon in the first month of this year.
Hamas announced last month that it would never accept a two-state solution or give up “one inch of the land of Palestine.”
Its announcement came in response to statements attributed to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the effect that the Islamist movement that rules over the Gaza Strip had “authorized” him to agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines.
Hamas said it never gave Abbas or anyone else a mandate to agree to the two-state solution.
Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.