Likelihood of new military confrontation with Israel high: Hamas official

March 25, 2017 2:50 pm

The body of
Palestinian official Mazen Fuqahaa is carried by members of the
Ezzedeen al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, during his
funeral in Gaza City on March 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

A high-ranking member of the
Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, has strongly condemned the
assassination of military commander Mazen Fuqahaa in the southern part
of Gaza City, stating that there seems to be a strong possibility of a
new military confrontation with the Tel Aviv regime.

“The
Israeli enemy operates a number of spies and mercenaries in the Gaza
Strip, whom we will hopefully get rid of. A major operation must get
underway in order to identify all those responsible for the recent
criminal act,” Mahmoud al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas, said as
thousands of people attended Fuqahaa’s funeral on Saturday and called
for “revenge.”
He said Hamas enjoys a vast array of means and
mechanisms to give Israel a befitting response over the targeted killing
of Fuqahaa, stressing that the resistance movement will not take a
knee-jerk decision.
“There is no ceasefire agreement between Hamas
and Israel, meaning that the two sides are technically at war. The
flames of a confrontation could ignite anytime,” Zahar said.
Israel
has launched several wars on the Palestinian sliver, the last of which
began in early July 2014. The Israeli military aggression, which ended
on August 26 the same year, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians. Over
11,100 others were also wounded in the war.

Yahya
Sinwar (C-R), the new leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and senior
political leaders of the Palestinian resistance movement, Ismail Haniyeh
(C-L) and Rawhi Moshtaha (L-3) attend the funeral of Hamas official
Mazen Fuqahaa in Gaza City on March 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)Ismail
Haniyeh, a senior leader of Hamas, also vowed that the Palestinians
will continue the spirited resistance against the Israeli regime.
Ezzedeen
al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, denounced Fuqahaa’s
assassination in a statement, holding Israeli authorities fully
responsible for the 38-year-old’s death.
“The Israeli regime is
the architect of the latest criminal act. The Israeli enemy seeks to
impose its equation of terror through targeted killing of our brave
resistance fighters. We will abort such attempts though. The occupier
regime of al-Quds will eventually regret its conduct.
They should know that if you play with fire, you get burned,” the
statement read.
Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, promised retaliation for Fuqahaa’s assassination.

Slain Hamas official and military commander Mazen Fuqahaa“If
the enemy thinks that this assassination will change the power balance,
then it should know the minds of Qassam will be able to retaliate in
kind,” he said.
Unknown assailants opened fire at Fuqahaa at the
entrance to a residence in the Tal al-Hawa neighborhood of Gaza City on
Friday night. They shot four bullets into the man’s head before they
fled the area.
Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said the assassination was carried out with a gun equipped with a silencer.
Hezbollah condemns assassination of Hamas commander
The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah also condemned the assassination of Fuqahaa.
Hezbollah said the despicable act of terror bears the hallmarks of those carried out by the Israeli regime.

The
hostile spirit of the Zionist entity is evident in the crime, which
necessitates the fight against the occupying enemy till its expulsion
from the occupied (Palestinian) lands, Hezbollah said in a statement
released on Saturday.

Fuqahaa, who descended from the
northern occupied West Bank district of Tubas, was released in 2011
along with more than 1,000 other Palestinians in exchange for Israeli
soldier Gilad Shalit, whom Hamas had held captive in Gaza for five
years.

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