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Monday, November 23, 2009

Hamas rocket deal a myth

As I reported yesterday, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP denied that they signed onto any Hamas deal to stop rocket attacks into Israel.

Palestine Press Agency reports that the DFLP and Fatah Al Aqsa Brigades have also said that they have not agreed to any deal that stops them from firing rockets towards Israel.

The Hamas Al Qassam website itself is also strenuously denying that any such agreement was made, quoting Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida as saying that no such deal is in the works in context of a rumored prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit, that rocket fire is a "strong card" in the hands of the Palestinian Arab people that Hamas will not give up, and that the Al Qassam Brigades does not make any official statements that are not mentioned on its website.

Media outlets around the world jumped on this story: The Guardian, the Times of London, al-Arabiya, AFP.

The original story seems to have come from the Xinhua news agency, quoting Hamas' interior minister Fathi Hammad.