Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)
The assassination of top Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari is a declaration of war,
Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the Islamist movement, said on
Barhoum’s statement came as Hamas’s armed wing, Izzadin
Kassam, vowed to avenge the killing of its commander and threatened to send
missiles into the heart of Israel, including Tel Aviv.
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Israeli military operation and
called to save the residents of the Gaza Strip from war. He also asked for an
emergency meeting of the Arab League to discuss the Israeli
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said the PA held Israel
responsible for the “brutal aggression” against the Strip. “The
occupation has committed a grave crime and crossed all red lines,” Hamas’s
“This is a real declaration of war. The enemy will pay a
heavy price for its crime and will regret the moment it thought of perpetrating
Barhoum said Israel had initiated a war with Hamas and other
Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip, “but it does not know how it will end.”
The armed wing of Hamas would launch retaliatory attacks against Israel, he
Khalil Hayeh, a senior Hamas official, told reporters at Shifa
Hospital in Gaza City, where Jabarai’s body was being held, that Izzadin
Kassam’s response would come very soon.
“This is not the time for talk,
but for action,” he said.
Israel had “opened the gates of hell” for
itself by assassinating Jabari, the Izzadin Kassam group said.
government mourned the death of Jabari, whom it described as a Palestinian
“resistance leader and one of the most prominent symbols of
It held Israel fully responsible for the
Several other Palestinian groups also threatened to avenge
the killing of Jabari.
Abu Ahmed, a spokesman for the armed wing of
Islamic Jihad, said his men would launch attacks against Israel “in the next few
hours.” He, too, said the assassination was an Israeli “declaration of war.”