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Hamas' armed wing rules out ceasefire for the time being
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20:52, February 28, 2008

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The armed wing of Hamas on Thursday ruled out any ceasefire with Israel following a violence flare-up that left 18 Palestinians dead in Gaza Strip.

"We can't hold any calmness deal with the Israeli occupation in the shadow of these massacres and crimes," said Abu Obaida, a spokesman for Ezz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas.

"Killing our activists proves the occupation is not interested in any sort of calmness and it doesn't respect any mediation on reaching a deal," the spokesman added.

Abu Obaida vowed to retaliate for the Israeli airstrikes which killed 18 Palestinians in Gaza Strip since Wednesday morning. Among the dead were four children.

An Israeli resident was also killed in a barrage of home-made rockets that Hamas fired into southern Israel in response to one of the Israeli airstrikes that killed five Hamas militants.

Abu Obaida admitted that his movement was not firing rockets into Israel in recent weeks. "Unlike the past, there was no rocket-fire," he said.

Al-Qassam Brigades also criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' calls for stopping the makeshift rockets that are fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza into Israel.

Source: Xinhua

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