Friday, 14 November 2014

Hamas warns of 'explosion' if Israel prevents Gaza reconstruction


RAFAH (AFP) -- The military wing of the Hamas warned Thursday of renewed violence unless Israel allows the reconstruction of the war-battered Gaza Strip.

"We are saying to all sides -- if the siege on Gaza and the obstacles for reconstruction remain, there will be a new explosion," said Abu Obeida, spokesman of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

A devastating 50-day war between Israel and Hamas that ended on August 26 killed more than 2,140 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers.

Gaza has been under a stringent Israeli blockade since 2006, with construction materials tightly restricted for fear militants could make use of them to forge arms or build fortifications.

The United Nations brokered a deal allowing the delivery of construction materials to Gaza by ensuring they will not be diverted by Hamas.

Last week, the UN announced the temporary reconstruction mechanism was to be launched under the auspices of a newly-formed Palestinian unity government.

"We hold the enemy fully responsible for an explosion if the reconstruction does not begin," Abu Obeida said at a rally in Gaza City, warning that "the fight is not over." more

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