The security cabinet's decision to declare the Gaza Strip a hostile political entity "constitutes a declaration of war" as far as Hamas is concerned, a spokesman for the organization said Wednesday.
The cabinet's decision was carried unanimously and effectively authorized the government to impose economic sanctions against Gaza, so long as they do not affect the civilian population.
"This decision may have dangerous consequences, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Ynet. "Israel will be pushing the Palestinians and the Palestinian land to the extreme… such a situation might result in a humanitarian disaster.
"I find the silence and cooperation of the man in Ramallah (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) with the enemy's effort to hurt Hamas, the Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian people to be very curious indeed," he said.
The cabinet's decision, added Barhoum "requires all Palestinian factions to unite against the enemy's plan… this is a deliberate attempt to coerce our people into accepting any lame solution the Washington peace conference offers through starvation.
"This is Israel attempting a knock-out blow against Hamas following its successes in taking control of Gaza," he said, warning against a military strike in Gaza and saying Hamas know "Israel doesn't need an excuse for one."
The Palestinian faction, said Barhoum, have resumed their talks recently. The decision to stop firing Qassam rockets at Israel, he added, was "not a result of Israeli intimidation, but rather a part of the new, united, Palestinian strategy."