Top Hamas official defiant over rocket strikes

Discussion in 'Politics' started by talknet, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. talknet


    GAZA CITY (CNN) -- A senior Hamas official said Monday that the Gaza leadership won't end rocket attacks on Israel, despite the reported deaths of 500 people during Israeli reprisals.

    Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar says rocket attacks on Israel will continue.

    Hamas rocket fire into southern Israel prompted Israeli forces to launch a military campaign in Gaza 10 days ago, which culminated in a major ground offensive at the weekend.

    "We salute the resistance men," Mahmoud al-Zahar said in a televised address from an undisclosed location in Gaza.

    "They (Israeli forces) shelled everyone in Gaza ... they shelled children and hospitals and mosques and in doing so, they gave us legitimacy to strike them in the same way," he said.

    "Our demands are clear: the problem is not in the Qassam rockets. The problem is in the aggression and the troops and the siege imposed on us."

    His comments came as Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told foreign representatives Monday that the equation in the Middle East has changed with the Jewish state's military incursion into Gaza.

    "Before the military operation, Hamas targets Israelis whenever it likes and Israel shows restraint," Livni told foreign ministers from the EU. "This is no longer going to be the equation. When Israel is targeted, Israel is going to retaliate."