The Islamic resistance movement (Hamas)vowed Sunday to continue homemade shells fire into Israeli towns despite the Israeli government threats to step up attacks on resistance leaders in Gaza.

“ the Palestinian resistance, especially Hamas and its armed wing Ezzildin Elqassam, will keep up launching home-made shells on the Israeli settlements and communities”, said Hamas’s spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri in Gaza.

Abu Zuhri told reporters today that ‘the Israeli occupation crimes and Olmert’s threats will not deter us as Israel’s war on the Palestinian resistance never stopped”.

Abu Zuhri’s remarks came shortly after the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, had approved further Israeli army attacks on the Palestinian resistance groups including those of Hamas.

Olmert told his cabinet members today “We will step up attacks on the Gaza Strip, unless rocket fire attacks come to a halt”.

Olmert’s deputy, Shimon Peres, was quoted as saying “Gaza now is under control of no body and we should defend our citizens”.

Hardliner Israeli minister of strategic threats and of the Hawkish Israel Baitona party, Avigdor Liberman, warned the Israeli cabinet of working on dismantling the Israeli coalition government, unless the latter breaks up Hamas.

Zaiv Boim, a minister of the Kadima party, demanded the government to target top Hamas leaders including Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya.

Since last Thursday, the Israeli army has escalated deadliest attacks on the Gaza Strip, including warplanes missiles and heavy artillery, killing at least 20 Palestinians, quarter of them were unarmed civilians.

The Palestinian resistance factions involving Hamas, the Islamic Jihad (holy war), the Al-Qsa Martyrs Brigades of Fatah and the Salah Eldin Brigades of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC)intensified last Wednesday night homemade shells fire into nearby Israeli towns, causing a number of injuries.

Abu Adnan, member of the political leadership of the PRC, told IMEMC in a phone interview that his group is determined to continue resistance, voicing the belief that Israel has never been concerned about calm.

“ The Israeli occupation never stopped attacks on our people, shunning all previous Palestinian initiatives as well as the latest Arab states comprehensive proposal, which calls for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all”, said Abu Adnan.

In the shadow of political stalemate on the ground, amidst Israeli rejection of the Palestinian prisoner swap deal and the Arab peace initiative renewed in March, in addition to heightened Hamas-Fatah infighting, Palestinian resistance groups have fired dozens of homemade shells onto Israel.

The Arab peace initiative, first drafted in 2002, calls for full Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories, Israeli recognition of the Palestinian refugees’ right to return, in return for normal ties between Israel and 22 Arab states.

Some commentators believe that the economic embargo being imposed on the Palestinian people since Hamas has taken power in January2006, along with Israeli withholding of Palestinian due tax revenues, estimated at $800 million dollars, have fueled escalation on the ground.

In April, the Israeli army killed nine Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, endangering a fragile six-month-old ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians.

Underway Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, mainly the targeted-killing are not the first, as in last summer the Israeli army launched in June2006, a large offensive to ‘crack down’ on resistance groups, killing about 450 Palestinian men, women and children, majority of whom were civilians.