Hamas renews commitment to ceasefire with Israel

11:40, December 25, 2010      

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The Islamic Hamas movement is committed to maintaining a shaky ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip, a senior Hamas leader said Friday.

"At this stage, we declare our commitments to the truce between us and the occupation forces," said Mahmoud Zahar, a member of Hamas' politburo, in a demonstration to support Hamas members that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) detains in the West Bank.

Despite tensions on the Gaza-Israel border, Zahar said his movement would observe the undeclared ceasefire since the end of Israel's Cast Lead military operation against Gaza militants in January 2009, which left some 1,400 Palestinians dead, as long as Israel keeps it.

"There should be no aggression or oppression in order to keep controlling ourselves," he added.

Palestinian militants increased their rocket attacks on Israel over the past week, while Israeli military and political officials threaten to wage a similar military operation again in Gaza to deter the militants.

Meanwhile, Zahar slammed the PNA for what he called a crackdown against Hamas' supporters in the West Bank.

The Hamas official threatened to take over the West Bank as what Hamas has done in Gaza in 2007, referring to the six-day fighting, which ended with Hamas seizing control of Gaza.

"If the operation (takeover) happened again in the West bank, there would be no room for you among the honorable people," Zahar said.

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