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15 October, 2018 12:56:38 AM

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Netanyahu threatens Hamas with ‘very strong blows’

31 settler homes approved in flashpoint Hebron
AFP
Netanyahu threatens Hamas with ‘very strong blows’

JERUSALEM: Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday threatened to inflict “very strong blows” on Hamas after fresh violence along the border with the Gaza Strip controlled by the Islamist group, reports AFP.

In addition to threat over ongoing protests by Palestinians Israel’s government yesterday approved the construction of 31 settler homes in Hebron, the first such green light for the flashpoint West Bank city since 2002, a cabinet minister said.

Construction permits were agreed in October last year but needed the government’s approval, according to the Peace Now NGO which monitors settlement construction in occupied territory.

“Hamas has apparently not understood the message—if these attacks do not stop, they will be stopped in another way, in the form of very, very strong blows”, Netanyahu said during the weekly cabinet meeting.

“We are very close to another type of action which would include very strong blows. If Hamas is intelligent, it will cease fire and violence now”, he added.

Israel on Friday suspended fuel deliveries to the Gaza Strip, after fresh protests along the border that saw seven Palestinians killed by Israeli troops.

The suspension came days after fuel supplies had begun running to the enclave, in a fresh bid to ease an Israeli blockade that has lasted more than 10 years.

A UN-brokered deal had seen Qatar, a longtime Hamas backer, pledge to pay $60 million (52 million euros) for fuel to be brought into Gaza over six months to supply the strip’s sole power plant.

On Saturday, Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said fuel deliveries would only resume if there was a “total cessation of violence, the launching of incendiary ballons (from Gaza towards Israel) and the use of burning tyres against Israeli towns” near the enclave.

Hamas has organised months of often-violent border protests, with at least 205 Palestinians and one Israeli killed since March 30.

The protesters are demanding to be allowed to return to land now inside Israel, from which their families fled or were displaced during the 1948 war surrounding the creation of the Jewish state.

Israel accuses Hamas of using the protests as a cover for attacks.

However, Israel defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said after the weekly cabinet meeting “for the first time in more than 20 years, Hebron will have a new Jewish neighbourhood where a military camp once stood.”

He said in a statement that the project will comprise 31 settler homes and two kindergartens.

“It is an important step in the global activity which we are carrying out to reinforce settlements in Judea and Samaria,” added Lieberman referring to the occupied West Bank.

EA

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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