Hamas tries to curb rocket attacks on Israel




GAZA CITY: The Palestinian government run by Hamas in Gaza Strip on Friday increased its security presence near the Israeli border to try to prevent smaller militant groups from firing homemade rocket and mortar shells into Israel, a sign that the movement may be concerned about possible Israeli retaliation.

According to news reports, this action by Hamas came after it received warning letters from Cairo and other foreign countries that Israel might be planning a new offensive against the Gaza Strip.

During a meeting held in Gaza City on Thursday, the deposed Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniya, instructed his security services leaders to ensure calm in Gaza, and to prevent any actions that could lead to renewed violence with Israel.

Taher Al-Nono, the spokesman for the government in Gaza, told reporters that Haniya issued “clear and direct orders” to the security forces to ensure calm in the coastal enclave.

Late on Wednesday, Hamas officials had met with the main militant groups who had agreed to observe “national understanding” about a period of calm, and to avoid doing anything which could provoke a strong Israeli reaction.

An unwritten cease-fire has been in effect between Hamas and Israel since the end of the military offensive carried out against Gaza two years ago, but the frequency of rocket attacks has been creeping upward in recent weeks. The Israeli military says at least 25 homemade rockets and mortar shells have exploded in Israel’s south this month. Israel has been hitting back for each salvo with air strikes against different targets across the Gaza Strip.

Israel holds Hamas responsible for all violence originating from Gaza, though Hamas blames smaller groups for the recent rocket fire. Last week, an Israeli air strike killed an Islamic Jihad fighter on a motorcycle.


Hamas tries to curb rocket attacks on Israel – Arab News.

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