'Next war with Israel will be regional'

Mashaal says he doesn't want war, but warns conflict won't be limited to Gaza.

February 12, 2010 10:49
1 minute read.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

mashaal 311. (photo credit: AP)

Senior Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal warned that if war breaks out with Israel it will not be limited to the Gaza Strip but will involve the entire region, in an interview with London-based Al Hayat newspaper that was published Friday.

According to the report, Mashaal stressed that Hamas was not interested in war and bloodshed.

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The last war was enough, he said, adding that if a war were forced on Hamas the group would stand strong.

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The Hamas leader went on to accuse Israel of killing senior Hamas operative Mahmoud Mabhouh in Dubai. He rejected reports that Hamas blames Arab states for Mabhouh's death and said the Israeli Mossad was solely responsible for the assassination.

Mashaal's interview comes a day after a media blackout was lifted on the details of a joint IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) operation to successfully foil a Hamas attempt in December to kidnap an IDF soldier and infiltrate two bombs into Israel from Egypt.

Five Hamas men were arrested on December 12, 2009 while trying to cross into Israel from the Sinai Peninsula. They were found to be carrying a gun, a silencer and $15,000 in counterfeit US bills.

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