Hamas vows to avenge Israel air strike on Gaza at 'appropriate time'

04/03/2011 22:47


A spokesman for Hamas' armed wing vowed on Sunday that Israel's recent air strike on Gaza will be avenged at "the appropriate time."

Around 13 militant groups based in Gaza, along with the spokesman for Hamas' Qassam Brigades said they intend to respond to Israel's air strike on Gaza, which killed three militants in Khan Younis early Saturday morning.

Representatives of the militant groups told a joint news conference that "the recent crimes" and "the violation of calm won't pass without punishment."

"We are keeping our response for the appropriate time," said Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas' armed wing, the Qassam Brigades.

On Saturday, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson stated that the three men killed in Gaza were members of a terrorist cell that was "planning to kidnap Israelis over the upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover" in Israel and in the Sinai Peninsula, a popular spring tourist destination for Israelis.

"The IDF will respond with strength and determination to any attempt to use terror against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers," a military statement said. "The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip."

Saturday's strike came after several days of relative calm.

Over the past month Gaza and southern Israel have seen the worst wave of violence in two years, with increased numbers of rockets being fired from Gaza and increased retaliatory strikes from Israel.

Hamas had already threatened on Saturday that the Israeli air strike would be avenged and vowed to strike back at Israel.

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, described the air strike as a crime and "serious escalation" of the recent violence, and vowed that Israel would "bear all the consequences." The militant group also called on the United States to stop the flow of financial aid to Israel.



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