Hamas vows to continue attacks
After claiming responsibility for shelling of kibbutz factory that killed Israeli father of three, senior official in Islamist group says attacks will only stop when ceasefire agreed on. 'But if that truce never comes, we have no intention of holding back our fire,' he says
Hamas warned on Thursday afternoon that it would continue to launch attacks against Israeli communities near the Gaza border.
"The firing will stop only when the zero-hour of a ceasefire goes into effect, but if that hour never comes – we have no intentions of holding back our fire," said a senior Hamas official following the shelling of a paint factory in Kibbutz Nir Oz earlier in the day in which 51-year-old Amnon Rosenberg was killed.
The source emphasized that the attacks would continue "in particular if the enemy's army continues its ground operations and airstrikes against Palestinians. The Israelis are operating in the Strip on a daily basis and it is alongside this that we are continuing our resistance in this region."
Hamas estimates that Israel is unlikely to agree to a ceasefire in the near future.
The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, issued a statement on Thursday morning proclaiming its ranks continue to force Israelis "to taste pain and punishment." The launch zone from which the deadly attacked was launched at around noon, they said, is a frequent target of the IDF.
Later in the afternoon a 4-year-old Palestinian girl was reported killed and her mother wounded in an IAF strike in southern Gaza. The army said it had targeted a Palestinian gunman east of Khan Younis and identified he had been hit.
The Palestinians said gunmen in the area escaped unharmed and that the girl was killed by an errant Israeli missile.
The IDF accused the gunmen of hiding behind civilians. "This is not the first time that terror organizations have no qualms about carrying out terror attacks using any means possible. They use areas where civilians reside and by doing so endanger them – and then point their fingers towards Israel," said military sources.
Hanan Greenberg contributed to this report