Monday, July 03, 2006

Hamas Targets Schools

Hamas's armed wing threatened to attack Israeli schools, institutions and power plants if Israel, pursuing a military campaign to free a soldier, continued its air strikes against infrastructure in Gaza. "If they continue with these attacks we will strike similar targets in the Zionist Occupation which we have not targeted until now," said Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for the armed wing of the Palestinian militant movement. Israel has launched air strikes against Gaza's main power plant and road bridges as part of an offensive launched last week to free Corporal Gilad Shalit, who was snatched by gunmen including members of Hamas, in a cross-border raid.Israeli air strikes on Sunday wrecked the office of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, and also hit a Hamas school. The army said it had not targeted the school and had meant to hit a nearby building used by Hamas. There have been few casualties. "If the Occupation continues aggression and terrorism against our people ... It will drag the region into a sea of blood and the consequences will be terrible. We still have many options," said Abu Ubaida. Hamas was behind a bombing at Israel's Hebrew University in Jerusalem in July 2002 that killed nine people, including Israelis and foreigners. President Mahmoud Abbas said while assessing the damage at Haniyeh’s wrecked office, "the world must understand that this is a dirty, criminal act," Abbas said. Haniyeh, for his part, told Reuters on an inspection tour of his office "This is the policy of the jungle and arrogance. Nothing will affect our spirit and nothing will affect our steadfastness."