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Gaza Armed Groups Agree to Halt Rockets: Hamas - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palestinian women militants with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) train the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis. (AFP)

Palestinian women militants with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) train the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis. (AFP)

GAZA CITY, (AP) — Hamas’s armed wing on Sunday said that armed groups in its Gaza Strip stronghold had finalised a deal to stop firing rockets into Israel, but said they would respond to Israeli raids.

“The agreement between (Ezzedine) Al-Qassam (Brigades) and other factions to stop rocket (fire) is not a sign of weakness,” the group said in a statement.

The agreement is “aimed at keeping together the internal front and the supreme national interest of the Palestinian people.”

It warned, however, that the groups would respond in the case of Israeli strikes on the territory.

“Al-Qassam Brigades will not stand idly by in case of a Zionist escalation and will defend ourselves with all our force.”

The statement was released a day after a rocket was fired into Israel from Gaza, landing without causing injuries or damage, and hours after the army responded with three air raids that wounded eight Palestinians.

It marked the latest violence along Gaza’s border, which has been mostly quiet since a war that Israel launched on Hamas in Gaza on December 27 in response to rocket fire ended with mutual ceasefires on January 18.

The ceasefires have largely held despite violations by both sides.

A Palestinian woman militant with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) takes part in training in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis. (AFP)

A Palestinian woman militant with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) takes part in training in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis. (AFP)

A Palestinian militant with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) loads a mortar round during training in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis. (AFP)

A Palestinian militant with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) loads a mortar round during training in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis. (AFP)