Mahmoud al-Zahar in Gaza
Photo: AP

Hamas: Hundred of thousands ready to become martyrs

Speaking at conference in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar warns Israel Hamas has 200,000 suicide bombers waiting to attack. 'We must use all our resources to fight occupation,' he says

"If Israel has 200 nuclear warheads, the Palestinian people have 200,000 suicide bombers, waiting to blow themselves up in the presence of Zionists and be martyred," Hamas leader Dr. Mahmoud al-Zahar said in Gaza on Tuesday.


During a conference held at the Islamic University of Gaza, Zahar said that Chief of Egyptian Intelligence Omar Suleiman would declare the beginning of a ceasefire if the "Zionist entity" were to agree to it. Despite the ceasefire negotiations, 15 Qassam rockets and 20 mortar shells were fired at Israel on Tuesday.


According to Zahar, if Israel delays in accepting the truce it will pay a heavy price. "We are a people under siege and we have no choice but to use all of our resources to protect ourselves from the occupation."


He assumed Israel would accept the truce, but "dawdle over a number of issues," stressing that the opening of all border crossings would be a condition for the Egyptian initiative to pass.


He estimated that the issue of the ceasefire would be determined next week, during Suleiman's visit to Israel. He explained that Hamas has refused former US President Jimmy Carter's proposal, that Hamas declare a one-sided truce as a confidence-building step.


"In 2003 and 2005 we offered and upheld truces, which were beneficial to us. Even those who were opposed to these truces will agree," he said.


Zahar hinted that the Palestinian organizations utilized past periods of calm in order to rest and re-arm themselves. He listed Hamas' conditions for truce, which included the ceasing of Israeli attacks against Palestinians, removal of the siege on Palestinian territories, and the opening of all crossings.


פרסום ראשון: 04.29.08, 20:43
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