Hamas threatens Israel to accept truce

Group spokesman warns of "unprecedented escalation" if Israel does not agree to calm soon.

Omar Suleiman 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Omar Suleiman 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Hamas has threatened an "unprecedented escalation" against Israel if it does not agree soon to the Egyptian-mediated cease-fire offer, the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat reported Sunday. Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha told the paper that Egyptian Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman was expected to arrive in Israel on Monday to convey Hamas's offer, which was agreed upon by twelve Palestinian factions last week. Another spokesman for the group, Sami Abu Zuhri, said the organization was waiting to receive an official response through Egypt in the coming days. He said Hamas was ready to deal with one of two possibilities: Pacification or escalation. "All options are open. The ball is in the Israeli court," Abu Zuhri said, adding that if Israel continues its procrastination, aggression and blockade of Gaza, "it may lead to unprecedented escalation." Meanwhile, Lebanese Communications Minister Marwan Hamada told the paper that Iran was helping Hizbullah establish a surveillance system which would enable it to eavesdrop on Lebanese citizens. Hamad told Asharq Al-Awsat that Hizbullah was setting up an independent network of phone lines throughout the country, and that this communications network could also be used to listen in on the conversations of all Lebanese people. Hamad added that the Lebanese government may raise the issue in protest before the Arab League and the UN Security Council.