Hamas: We're developing new missiles

Group's armed wing denies Iran assisting weapons enhancement; claims Israel planning Gaza assault.

Kassam crew 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 2 [file])
Kassam crew 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 2 [file])
"It is no secret that Hamas is enhancing its military capabilities, including the development of new missiles. This is our right. We do not deny it and have no concerns," Abu Odediya, spokesman for Hamas's armed wing, was quoted as saying Saturday. Speaking to Asharq al-Awsat, Abu Odediya denied Iran was involved in the development of the group's missiles. "Any development is being carried out in the Gaza Strip. We do not belong to any foreign body," he said. The spokesman told the London-based newspaper that Israeli accusations that Iran was assisting Hamas weapons enhancement were made in order to garner international support for a future IDF attack on Gaza. "It is likely that Israel is planning an assault on Gaza after the Arab summit in Damascus," he said, adding that Israel's intentions were proven by the fact that Israeli spy planes were continuing to fly over Gaza. Odediya refused to divulge details about the new missiles he claimed were being developed. "Our message will soon be emitted and Israel will know where the rockets can reach. Our fight is open-ended and at any stage we can introduce something new." Nevertheless, top Islamic Jihad official Khalid Batash denied new missiles were being developed. "Reports of the development of new missiles are aimed at instilling fear in order to give the stamp of approval to a new [Israeli] assault on the Palestinian people," Batash told the London-based Al Quds al-Arabi newspaper.