Hamas leader says attacks against Israeli civilians to continue; Fatah distances itself from Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades
Activists of Hamas will not stop their attacks against Israeli civilians until Israel stops similar attacks, the founde of the Palestinian resistance movement said in remarks published Saturday by Kuwait's al-Watan daily.
Speaking by telephone from the Jordanian capital, Amman, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin said that the resistance movement "would not give up its military operations against Zionist targets, including civilian targets." "I regret executing military operations against civilians but we do so because the Zionist enemy targets civilian Palestinian targets," he said.
Hamas had halted military operations against Israeli civilians in the past, but cannot now since Israel still continues to target civilians, he added. "We all know what the Israelis did against Palestinian civilians in Jenin in the attack last April," said Sheikh Ahmed said.
Yassin slammed Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat for his call to Palestinians to cease any aggression against Israeli civilians. "No Palestinian should call for this," he said.
Meanwhile, Arafat's Fatah movement distanced itself from its military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which said it carried out the latest two suicide attacks in Israel. "Fatah has no link with the statement published by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, nor with the parties and individuals who claim to belong to it," the party said in a statement issued in Gaza City.
In its statement Friday, Fatah called on its "officials and its grass roots members to respect the leadership's decisions," adding that only "documents signed by Yasser Arafat or published by its central committee can be considered as the movement's official statements." (Albawaba.com)
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