Hamas official: We are on way to liberate Haifa, Acre

Fathi Hammad claims Israel preparing for “another battle against Gaza Strip in order to uproot Palestinian resistance.”

Hamas terrorists 311 (photo credit: AP)
Hamas terrorists 311
(photo credit: AP)
Hamas is on its way to liberate Haifa and Acre together with other armies, Hamas’s Minister of Interior, Fathi Hammad, declared on Monday.
His threat came as Palestinian Authority officials stepped up their rhetorical attacks on Israel for refusing to extend a moratorium on settlement construction. One official condemned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as an “enemy of peace.”
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PA President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Israel’s warning against taking unilateral measures, such as the declaration of a Palestinian state. Abbas said that Israel has been taking unilateral measures for more than 30 years.
Abbas said that an agreement signed between the PA and Israel in 1995 forbids both sides from taking unilateral steps that could prejudice the outcome of the peace talks.
Hammad was speaking during a visit to the College of Science and Technology in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip. He claimed that Israel was preparing for “another battle against the Gaza Strip in order to uproot the Palestinian resistance.”
Addressing Netanyahu, the Hamas minister said: “We’re coming to liberate Haifa and Acre together with world armies.”
Hammad heaped praise on international aid convoys that have visited the Gaza Strip in defiance of the blockade on the area. He said that these convoys were carrying a message to the Palestinians that “we must remain committed to jihad and resistance.”
He said that Israel was still suffering from its “defeat” and “humiliation” in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip about two years ago. “The leaders of the Zionist entity are afraid to travel to European countries out of fear that they would be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
Hammad, who is in charge of the Hamas-controlled security forces in the Gaza Strip and is regarded as one of the Islamist movement’s most powerful figures, also lashed out at the Palestinian Authority for agreeing to negotiate with Israel.
In a message to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Hammad said: “Oh Abbas, no matter how many concessions you make, the occupation and America will never be satisfied with you.”
The PA, meanwhile, accused Israel of destroying the peace process by pursuing the policy of “assassinations, terror, occupation, repression, settlement construction and detention.”
Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf strongly criticized Israel for opposing the PA’s intention to seek US and UN recognition of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. “Israel does not recognize international organizations and insists on continuing occupation and settlement,” he said. “Israel’s current policies prove that the government of Netanyahu is destroying the peace process. Netanyahu and [Foreign Minister Avigdor] Leiberman are the enemies of peace.”
Hanan Ashrawi, member of the PLO Executive Committee, said that “it was obvious by now that there is no peace partner on the Israeli side.” She said that a peace process was impossible while Israel was “continuing to build in the settlements, steal lands and Judaize Jerusalem.”