Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hamas warns Israel against ground raid

The Islamic Hamas movement says Israeli forces would be welcomed with 'surprises' should they launch a ground incursion into the Gaza Strip.

"Israel will embark on a veritable adventure if it decides to invade Gaza," Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said on Thursday.

"We have prepared surprises for them", he said adding that his movement would fight "until the last breath" in case of a ground invasion.

Meanwhile, in a defiant televised speech, Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniya promised that the movement will win the fight against Israel.

"We tell the Palestinian people in Gaza and everywhere that you will win, inevitably. Victory is near, God willing, and it is closer than people think," he said.

The Hams warnings come as Israeli tanks and troops have massed along the besieged Palestinian territory preparing for a possible ground operation.

This is while media reports say Hamas has extended the reach of its rocket attacks on the Israeli towns.

On Thursday, Hamas fighters fired a rocket deep into Israeli air base in Negev desert. The movement said the attack was the first of its kind.

Hamas's armed wing the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement that they had fired a Grad-type rocket at the Hatzerim air force base west of the city Beersheva, some 40 km (24 miles) from the Gaza border.


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