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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:20, September 26, 2005
Hamas announces halting rockets attacks on Israel
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The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) announced on Sunday night that it decided to halt immediately launching rockets attacks on southern Israel.

Mahmoud al-Zahhar, senior Hamas leader said that the movement decided to halt all its military operations in the Gaza Strip.

The movement made the announcement because it is more concerned with the highest interests of the Palestinian people and more interested in protecting our people from the tough strikes of the "Zionists", he explained.

"Committing to Cairo calmness agreement and keeping the highest interests of our people and being committed to ending all phenomena of arms, we decided to halt all our military operations in the Gaza Strip," said al-Zahhar.

He said that Hamas movement is still committed to the agreement reached by 13 Palestinian factions in Cairo as well as being committed to ending all phenomena of arms and showing guns in the streets.

Palestinian sources said that the Hamas decision came after a meeting held between the movement's leaders and a senior Egyptian security delegation in Gaza.

The Hamas decision also came after Israeli recent air strikes and closures to Gaza after Palestinian militants fired dozens of rockets at Israel.

Mohamed Sheikh Khalil, commander of the Islamic Jihad (Holy War) armed wing Saraya al-Quds, was assassinated on Sunday night together with his deputy as an Israeli drone fired one rocket at their car that drove in the Gaza City.

Palestinian witnesses, medics and security sources said that Sheikh Khalil, who escaped three previous Israeli assassination attempts, was in the car together with his deputy Nasser Barghouth when the rocket hit it.

In the widest arrest raid since a complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip on Sept. 12, Israeli forces arrested 207 members of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and the Islamic Jihad (Holy War) in the West Bank on late Saturday and early Sunday.

Israeli Prime Minister Sharon said on Sunday that he had ordered Israeli forces to use"all means" to stop rocket attacks launched by Palestinian militants.

"I have ordered that there be no limitation regarding use of all means to hit the terrorists, the men of the terror organizations, to hit them, their equipment and their hideouts," Sharon told the cabinet's weekly session.

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