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Mahmoud al-Zahar (archives)
Photo: Reuters
Hamas threatens attacks on Israeli civilians
In televised address, Mahmoud al-Zahar urges his organization's fighters to 'crush' Israeli forces who have invaded territory, hints they will try to target civilians and Israeli targets elsewhere

Gaza's Hamas strongman has urged Hamas fighters to "crush" Israeli forces who have invaded the territory. He also hinted at greater efforts to attack Israeli civilians.

 

The Hamas leader, Mahmoud al-Zahar, spoke on Hamas' al-Aqsa TV on Monday. It was not clear whether the speech was taped.

 

Hamas leaders have been in hiding since Israel's assault on the Islamic militants began December 27. Al-Zahar is seen as the mastermind of Hamas' violent takeover of Gaza in June 2007.

 

He praised Hamas fighters and urged them to "crush your enemy."

 

He also hinted that the militants would try to target more Israeli civilians and Israeli targets elsewhere. He said Israelis "legitimized the killing of their people all over the world when they killed our people."

 

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