Hamas Not after War, Not to Allow Buffer Zone: Official
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Deputy Head of the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas Ismail Haniyeh said the group is not seeking war with the Israeli regime but will not allow its incursions into the borders of the Gaza Strip.
"We are not seeking a new war. However, we will not under any circumstances accept these incursions…, or the continued blockade of the Gaza Strip" Haniyeh said in a Friday prayers sermon in the Gaza Strip.
The remarks came after the worst cross-border violence between Israeli and Palestinian forces since 2014. Three days of mortar and tank fire, as well as Israeli air strikes, have raised concerns of a new war in the coastal enclave.
Earlier, Israeli aircraft carried out their fourth air raid on the territory since Wednesday, attacking sites at Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza and near Khan Yunis in the south, witnesses said.
The Hamas leader emphasized that Israeli forces have intruded nearly 150 meters into Gazan territory.
“Through existing mediators, we sent multiple messages to the Zionists that the resistance will not allow the imposition of a new equation against the movement inside Gaza,” Haniyeh said.
“The resistance will not allow the establishment of a so-called buffer zone inside the borders of the Gaza Strip,” he said, referring to a 100-metre wide strip along the border but inside Gazan territory where the Israeli army has said it reserves the right to operate.
Haniya said mediators from Egypt, Qatar, Turkey and the United Nations had been working to restore calm along Gaza’s border and that in the meantime Israeli forces had pulled back.