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Hamas ‘does not want war with Israel’

A spokesman for Hamas said on Thursday that the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement does not want war with Israel. Taher Al-Nono insisted that Israel has been carrying out a “propaganda war” against the movement on this matter, based on “exaggeration and false information.”

The senior aide of Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, told foreign journalists that any military action at the current time would never result in anything positive because there are so many “hot issues” in the Middle East involving the international community. “War at this time is illogical,” he said.

Describing the incendiary comments by Israeli officials about Hamas’s military capabilities and tunnels as “exaggerated”, Al-Nono suggested that they have been made in order to deflect the world’s attention from Israel’s “ongoing violations” against the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the Hamas spokesman pointed out that if the Israeli occupation authorities carry out any major offensive against the Palestinians, Hamas would “certainly” respond and “defend itself and its people.”

Haniyeh’s aide added that the internal Palestinian division makes it difficult to “achieve any real national gains.” The tunnels, he noted, are purely “defensive”, as the Palestinians have a right under international law to defend themselves against Israel’s military occupation. He stressed that the tunnels, and even homemade weapons, including rockets, would never be used to launch attacks on Israel unless it attacks the Palestinians first.

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