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Israel: Hamas is trying to rearm


Source: | 01-23-2009 09:19

Special Report:   Israel airstrikes in Gaza

Israel's last troops left the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. But the smugglers' tunnels, one of the declared targets in the 23-day campaign against Hamas and the Gazan population, are active again at the Egyptian border.

The Israeli government says the work on tunnels shows that Hamas is trying to "rearm."(
The Israeli government says the work on tunnels shows
that Hamas is trying to "rearm."(

Israel warns the work on tunnels shows that Hamas is trying to "rearm."

Video footage on Thursday showed workers busy clearing blocked tunnels in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip.

During its offensive, Israel said it had destroyed most of the hundreds of tunnels in repeated air bombardments. Much of the surrounding area and houses was also left in ruins.

But it appears that smuggling, in the past primarily of much needed everyday goods and fuel, but also of weapons, is under way again.

The Israeli government says the work on tunnels shows that Hamas is trying to "rearm."

Mark Regev, Israeli Government Spokisman, said, "It's clear that Hamas is acting to try to rearm. What is important is that there is today an international coalition; America, Europe, Arab governments will act in unison to prevent Iranian rockets from reaching the Gaza Strip, to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. Hamas will not be allowed to rearm."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed hope that the fragile ceasefire with Hamas will hold. But he says the region has a lot of uncertainty, and things might develop in a different way.

Also on Thursday, Israeli gunboats firing off the shores of Gaza City wounded two Palestinians.

The military says it was firing to deter a Palestinian fishing vessel that had strayed off-limits.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei