Hamas Threatens To Strike Inside Israel
The military wing of Hamas pledged to strike in the depth of Israel in response to the killing of five of its militants in pre-dawn air strikes in southern Gaza Strip. "The Israeli army's happiness after killing the resistance men would not last long and the time of account is imminent," Abu Obaida, the spokesman of the Ezz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades said at the funeral of the fighters in Khan Younis city. "The enemy must be ready for black funerals. Al-Qassam Brigades will turn everything on the head of the Zionists, destroy all their expectations and attack them unexpectedly," warned the spokesman. Ezz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, have the capability to recruit 100 fighters at any time to succeed anyone killed by the Israeli troops, Abu Obaida said. He slammed the U.S-hosted peace conference held in Annapolis onNov. 27 as "a cover for the Israeli army's aggression" and attacked the acting Palestinian government in the West Bank for implementing the U.S.-sponsored security plans. Hamas movement has said the Israeli military escalation was a natural result of Annapolis conference. "Waging the war against the resistance is the only clear result of the ominous meeting."Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched at the U.S.-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland their first formal peace talks in seven years with the goal of forging a deal by the end of 2008 to create a Palestinian state. Hamas and other allied militant groups have strongly opposed the resumption of peace talks with Israel, saying Abbas does not have political legitimacy to speak on behalf of Palestinians. They also oppose the U.S.-sponsored "road map" which calls for the renouncement of force in the first place. The Islamic Jihad movement, meanwhile, called on Palestinian factions to unite and put their differences aside in the face of what it called a looming Israeli incursion. The Israeli aerial attacks in Khan Younis killed five militants from Hamas and wounded three others. The killed militants had been positioned not far from the border, monitoring the security fence that separates Israel and the Gaza Strip in the east of Khan Younis to encounter Israeli undercover and special forces that often infiltrate the border areas by night.