Hamas warns of more attacks

2010-09-02 17:13

Gaza City - The Islamist Hamas movement vowed on Thursday to go on a campaign of attacks against Israelis, hours ahead of the relaunch of direct peace talks in Washington.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said that the arrest of scores of the movement's members in the occupied West Bank would not prevent it from following up on two shooting attacks in 24 hours that killed four Israeli settlers.

"The resistance operations will continue and these measures will not succeed in weakening the resistance or providing security for the (Israeli) occupation," he said.

"The heroic operations of the resistance in the West Bank are proof that the resistance is continuing... despite the security co-operation between the Fatah authority and the occupation."

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has vehemently opposed the Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's decision to relaunch direct talks which he suspended when Israel launched a devastating offensive against the territory in December 2008.

"The real representative of the Palestinian people is the power of the resistance," Abu Zuhri said, in a swipe at the negotiators in Washington.

Wave of arrests

The Hamas leadership in Gaza has accused Abbas's Palestinian Authority, largely dominated by his secular Fatah movement, of rounding up some 550 of its supporters in a wave of arrests in the West Bank.

A Hamas official in the West Bank said the number was closer to 150.

The Palestinian Authority has denied arresting anyone in connection with the two attacks, but said it has summoned an unspecified number of Hamas supporters as part of routine security questioning.

Fatah and Hamas, the two largest Palestinian factions, have been fiercely divided since the Islamist movement seized control of Gaza in June 2007.