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Hamas: Israel's next stage aims at toppling its group
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11:20, December 21, 2008

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The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) , which rules the Gaza Strip since June 2007, expressed concerns that the next stage in the Israeli policy is to topple its Gaza deposed government headed by Ismail Haneya.

"Israel is to focus on toppling the movement's rule in Gaza, and this was obvious in the recent Israeli leaders' statements and Israel's unprecedented campaign against the movement," said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.

Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip by force in June last year, and routed the security forces of moderate President Mahmoud Abbas. Hamas rejected Abbas decree, which deposed its government following Gaza takeover.

A six-month lull, which was brokered by Egypt between Israel and Gaza militant groups, ended on Friday. Hamas said it would not renew the truce and held Israel responsible for its failure.

"On the ground, there is escalation on eastern, northern and southern Gaza Strip. This escalation gives an indication that the Zionist occupier (Israel) is planning a plot against the poor Palestinians in Gaza," said Barhoum.

He added that "the aim is to weaken and humiliate the Palestinians and the resistance powers and end their presence in Gaza, and impose any future Zionist American solution reached with the Palestinian National Authority."

Israel, which prepares for the parliamentary elections due on February, has threatened that its army would carry out a large-scale operation in response to rockets attacks from Gaza at Israel.

Several Israeli leaders who compete in the elections stated that the Israeli army should carry out an operation aims at toppling the rule of Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip.

"The Zionist enemy is planning to carry out a criminal operation and target the leadership of Hamas movement," said Barhoum, adding that "If they want us to pay the price, the soldiers of the occupation would pay a price too."


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