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Monday, February 01, 2010

Hamas threatens to attack international (Jewish) "targets"

Hamas has threatened to retaliate for Al Qassam Brigades co-founder's assassination by attacking "targets" worldwide, as the PLO used to do.

Asharq Alawsat reports:

[Hamas official Yahya] Moussa told Asharq Al-Awsat that Hamas was examining the changes in the rules of the game, saying "Hamas was careful not to carry out operations abroad in order not to put the security of any country at risk, and it respects the sovereignty of countries, but now institutions of the movement will study the possibility of reversing this decision."

In a press conference held yesterday, Hamas senior figure Mahmoud al-Zahar said "We kept the arena of confrontation between us and the Israeli enemy within the occupied territories, and if Israeli wants – as it wants now to change the rules of the game –to open the international arena to attacks, then in this case Israel will be responsible for the repercussions of this."

He added "Israel has experienced this, and was burned by this in its conflict with the PLO, and it knows that Hamas is no less able to reach its targets in any place." He also said "we are capable of hurting the Zionist enemy, and this is something that is known by the occupation forces, whether on this arena or elsewhere."

In practical terms this means that they are threatening to attack Jews worldwide, like the terror attack against the Argentina Jewish center in 1994 or the 2002 Ghriba synagogue bombing.

One Arab columnist interprets Hamas' threat, and other things that Zahar said, as a threat to the sovereignty of Arab nations who have ties with Israel.

Hamas is also trying to be a part of the investigation of the assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, the the Dubai police are telling them to get lost.

According to Palestine Press Agency, Dubai police chief Dahi Khalfan refused to allow Hamas anywhere near the investigations, saying that they only deal with the Palestinian Authority and does not deal with private individuals or other entities during investigations.

Khalfan also denied that there were any previous attempts on Mabhouh's life in Dubai, as his brother claimed, saying that if there were any, why weren't the police involved?

He also wondered why Hamas would let Mabhouh go to Dubai alone and without bodyguards if he was so important. (Hamas had already said that they couldn't get air tickets for the bodyguards so they were due later that day.)

Meanwhile, the Dubai police announced that Mabhouh was killed within five hours of arrival in the emirates.