Hamas's Zahar: I don't know who committed Eilat attacks

Senior Hamas official says that Israel fabricating reasons to attack Gaza, Palestinian factions reserve right to attack despite truce.

August 24, 2011 17:32
1 minute read.
Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar

Mahmoud al-Zahar smirking (R) 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

Last week’s terrorist attacks near Eilat are “mysterious” and Hamas does not know anything about the identity of the perpetrators, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said on Wednesday.

He also said that the current cease-fire with Israel was “based on the principle of deterring the occupation and not succumbing to its threats.”

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He said that the last terror attacks were a “mysterious operation” and accused Israel of exploiting them to launch military strikes against the Gaza Strip.

“Until now we don’t know who carried out the attacks and where they came from,” Zahar was quoted by the Palestinian Maan news agency as saying.

He pointed out that Israel still hasn’t published the names or photos of the perpetrators and that no Palestinian group has claimed responsibility.

Zahar said that the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip were therefore “unjustified.” He added that the rocket and missile attacks on Israel came in response to the air strike that killed four leaders of the Popular Resistance Committees in Rafah last Friday.

He stressed that Hamas was keen on maintaining the state of calm so as not to give Israel an excuse to reoccupy the Gaza Strip. Hamas, he added, will not play the role of policeman who defends Israeli interests.

Zahar said that the cease-fire which Hamas seeks is one that’s based “on the principle of deterring the enemy and not cooperating with it or succumbing to its dictates and threats.”

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