Hamas said on Tuesday that it’s ready to help Hizbullah and the Lebanese army “repel” an Israeli military attack on Lebanon.
Hamas’s announcement came shortly after the incident in which an IDF officer and four Lebanese were killed in an exchange of gunfire on the northern border.
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Hamas, which has several political representatives and thousands of followers in different parts of Lebanon, maintains close ties with Hizbullah.
The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, by contrast, did not respond to Tuesday’s clash between the IDF and Lebanese soldiers.
Ali Barakeh, Hamas’s top representative in Lebanon, said that the “Palestinian people in Lebanon stand with the Lebanese people and army in repelling a potential Zionist aggression.”
Asked if Hamas was prepared to fight against Israel from Lebanon, Barakeh replied: “Hamas has no military presence in Lebanon. But we are prepared to give the Lebanese people whatever we could.”
He said that during the 2006 war between Israel and Hizbullah, Hamas provided relief aid to thousands of Lebanese families that fled southern Lebanon.
“We opened shelters and schools in refugee camps to help the Lebanese people,” he claimed. “Hamas’s military operation take place only inside the Palestinian territories.”
The Hamas official praised the Lebanese soldiers who opened fire at the IDF troops, saying they acted in a “honorable way.” He added that the incident proved once again that Israel “understands only the language of force and resistance and not negotiations.”
In the Gaza Strip, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accused Israel of “thuggery.” He, too, hailed the Lebanese army for “confronting a Zionist military force and preventing it from infiltrating Lebanon.”
Ismail Radwan, another Hamas spokesman, condemned the IDF response to the shooting as “a new crime that would be added to the occupation’s black record.”
He said that the “aggression against Lebanon was a continuation of Israeli crimes against Palestinians and Arabs and Muslims.”
Hamas, however, denied any involvement in Monday’s rocket attacks on
Eilat and the Jordanian port city of Aqaba.
Salah Bardaweel, a Hamas legislator and spokesman, said that his
movement was not interested in a war on the Palestinian people “whose
wounds are still open [since Operation Cast Lead].”
Israel knows that Hamas did not fire these rockets, Bardaweel added.
“We heard about these rockets for the first time from Israel. The
rockets were not fired from the Gaza Strip. In any case, Hamas does not