Fathi Hammad, Hamas’ interior minister, announced Saturday that Hamas had convinced all the armed factions in Gaza to cease any firing of homemade shells across the border from Gaza into Israel.
Hammad said that the agreement would only hold as long as Israel does not invade the Gaza Strip. He said that if such an invasion were to take place, Hamas and other resistance groups reserve their internationally-recognized right to resist a military invasion of their land.
In a press conference with Gazan journalists, Hammad stated, ‘We have agreed with the factions that nobody carries out any action involving shells for now.’
During the same press conference, Hammad denied allegations made by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, from the rival Palestinian party Fateh, that Hamas was engaging in secret, closed-door negotiations with Israel.
Hammad stated, ‘There are no secret deals and our position is clear; the land of Palestine is an Islamic endowment’ whose status cannot be negotiated.
Over the last year, since the Israeli invasion of Gaza resulted in over 1400 Palestinians killed – 90% of whom were civilians, and 400 of which were children, Israel has threatened to invade the Gaza Strip on a number of occasions.
After Israeli air strikes on Thursday that resulted in the deaths of several Palestinians, a homemade shell was fired by Palestinian armed resistance factions in Gaza into the Negev desert in Israel. No injuries or damage were reported from the shelling.