Hamas warns of Palestinian reconciliation collapse

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah speaks during a press conference in Gaza City, on Dec. 7, 2017. Hamdallah's visit aims to push forward the implementation of a reconciliation deal Egypt brokered between Hamas and its rival Fatah party in October. (AP)
Updated 21 December 2017
0

Hamas warns of Palestinian reconciliation collapse

GAZA CITY: A senior leader in Palestinian movement Hamas warned on Thursday of the potential collapse of a reconciliation agreement made with political rivals Fatah.
“The reconciliation is collapsing and everyone must intervene to save it,” Yahya Sinwar, the Gaza head of Hamas, told a meeting of young people.
“We took major steps to achieve reconciliation and we offered a lot of concessions, but the reconciliation is still in the same place.”
Under an Egyptian-brokered deal Hamas was meant to hand over control of Gaza to the internationally recognized Palestinian government, which is dominated by Fatah, by Dec. 10.
But the deadline passed and Hamas still maintains control in the Palestinian enclave.
The Palestinian government, based in the West Bank, has assumed responsibility at checkpoints between Gaza and neighbors — Israel and Egypt — but Hamas is still fully in control of the police and security apparatuses.
Fatah officials accused Hamas of refusing to give up real power, while Hamas said Fatah was not really committed to the process.
A key sticking point was the future of Hamas’s vast armed wing.
Hamas seized control of Gaza in a 2007 near civil war.
The UN has warned failure of the reconciliation would risk another round of conflict.
Hamas, designated a terrorist organization by Israel, the US and others, has fought three wars with the Jewish state since 2008.


Israel threatens to get tougher on Gaza after warplanes hit Hamas

The strikes targeting Hamas’s military wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, were more intense than in previous sorties. AFP
Updated 39 min 32 sec ago
0

Israel threatens to get tougher on Gaza after warplanes hit Hamas

  • Israeli planes initially targeted three Hamas military positions overnight in Gaza in response to kites and balloons carrying incendiary and explosive devices launched into Israel
  • The military wings of Hamas and allied militant group Islamic Jihad said they had “targeted seven Israeli military positions near Gaza

GAZA CITY: Israeli warplanes pounded Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday in a new flare-up of hostilities that saw dozens of rockets and mortar shells fired from the Palestinian enclave, the army said.
The strikes targeting Hamas’ military wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, were more intense than in previous sorties to convey the message “we will not allow this situation to continue,” Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters.
The latest spike in tensions follows weeks of deadly protests and clashes along the Gaza-Israel border as well as the worst military escalation last month since a 2014 war.
It comes as US President Donald Trump’s special envoy Jason Greenblatt and adviser Jared Kushner visit the region to discuss issues including the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
Israeli planes initially targeted three Hamas military positions overnight in Gaza in response to kites and balloons carrying incendiary and explosive devices launched into Israel from the Palestinian territory, the army said.
“They may look like toys but I can assure they are not toys, they are weapons intended to kill and to inflict damage,” Conricus said.
He said that so far Israel had sought to warn off those launching the airborne devices but that could change.
“Hamas and other militants, but mainly Hamas” hit back after the first air raids with more than 45 rockets and mortar rounds fired from Gaza toward Israel, seven of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, he added.
Three more landed inside the Jewish state, he said, but did not account for the remainder.
In response, Israeli planes carried out more raids against 25 “terror objectives” including an underground training compound, according to the army.
Gaza medical sources said that five people were lightly injured in the strikes.
In a joint statement, the military wings of Hamas and allied militant group Islamic Jihad said they had “targeted seven Israeli military positions near Gaza... in response to continued Israeli aggression against resistance sites in Gaza.”
Conricus said that most of the 200,000 Israeli civilians who live within range of the short-range rockets fired from Gaza “spent the night in bomb shelters.”