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Islamic Jihad urges Hamas, Fatah to unite amid Israeli military escalation
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12:00, February 11, 2008

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A senior Islamic Jihad leader on Sunday urged rival factions of Hamas and Fatah to settle their differences and unite to face escalated Israeli offensive.

Hamas and Fatah "should go beyond the state of division and they should unite in face of the aggression ... they should stand behind the holy war and resistance since this is the best option," said Naffez Azzam in Gaza.

Azzam's remarks followed four Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Saturday night which left a Hamas militant dead and around 20 people injured.

Israel said that the attacks were in response to Palestinian rocket fire which targeted southern Israeli communities near the Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Two Israeli boys were wounded in southern Israeli town of Sderot on Saturday by home-made rockets fired from Gaza.

Commenting on Israeli threats to assassinate leaders of Palestinian armed groups, Azzam said these threats have often been expected and that Israel had targeted several senior leaders.

In June, Hamas chased out the long-dominant Fatah and took over the Gaza Strip by force, politically separating the coastal enclave from the West Bank where moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas formed a new Western-backed government.

Source: Xinhua

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