Hamas blames Israel for 'grave escalation' in South

Abbas condemns IAF strike on Gaza, saying that escalation has triggered new round of violence; PRC threatens to retaliate.

By REUTERS, JPOST.COM STAFF
March 9, 2012 22:34
1 minute read.
Kassam rockets being fired from Gaza Strip [file]

Kassam rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip 311 (R). (photo credit: Nikola Solic / Reuters)

 
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Hamas on Friday blamed Israel for what he called a "grave escalation" in the South, after eight rockets were fired at the South and the IAF carried out air strikes on Gaza targets.

"They want us to sink in darkness and in blood," he added.

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also condemned the strike, saying that the escalation had caused a negative atmosphere, triggering a new round of violence in the region.

The PRC responded with threats to reignite tensions along the testy frontier. "All options are open before the fighters to respond to this despicable crime. The assassination of our chief will not end our resistance," Abu Attiya, a spokesman for the PRC group said.

Terrorists pounded southern Israel with rockets on Friday night, after an air strike killed the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhair Qaisi.

Since the initial air strike, the IAF continued operations over Gazan skies to track down rocket launching crews, and struck two cells making final preparations to fire high-trajectory rockets into Israel. One of the terror cells was in central Gaza and the other in northern Gaza.

The IDF confirmed hits on its targets.

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