12 March 2009

HAMAS Angry Over Rocket Attacks on Israel

Hamas criticizes recent rocket attacks on Israel. Says wrong time for rocket attacks as we are trying to create a united Palestinian government and broker a ceasefire with Israel. They say a splinter group called "Hezbollah of Palestine" carried out attacks. On March 5th Hamas arrested members of this group for continuing to carry out rocket attacks on Israel. Two reports below:

From the Herald Tribune:

The Islamic militant group Hamas made a rare criticism Thursday of Palestinian rocket fire on Israel, saying now is the wrong time as truce talks continue.
Hamas, which rules Gaza, appears to be concerned about disrupting talks for a long-term cease-fire with Israel or reconciliation talks with its West Bank-based moderate rival, Fatah.

the militant group said Thursday it has not been involved in recent rocket attacks, including two fired Wednesday.

"Regarding the report about rockets fired from Gaza, we emphasize that these rockets have no link to any of the Palestinian resistance groups and are being fired at the wrong time," the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry said. "We emphasize also that the security agencies are following who are behind such acts."

And more in a second report from Xinhua here:

Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip on Thursday slammed rocket attacks against Israel, pledging to stop them.

"The factions of resistance have no relations with the rockets that are being fired from Gaza. They are being fired in the wrong time and we confirm the security services are following up those who stand behind these rockets," Hamas' Interior Ministry said.

The statement of the ministry came after a new group calling itself "Hezbollah of Palestine" used to fire rockets against Israel almost every couple of days and claim responsibility for these attacks.

But sources from Hamas said the Hezbollah of Palestine was "a fake name used by more than one side to carry out actions away from the national understanding."

In February, Hamas has arrested a member of the local Hezbollah group for keeping firing rockets into Israel despite Hamas' willingness to broker a ceasefire with Israel.

The Hezbollah of Palestine first became public after a six-month fragile ceasefire between Hamas and Israel collapsed in December.