Het staakt-het-vuren is in Hamas' belang en dat beseft men dondersgoed, vandaar dat, nu de herhaaldelijke schendingen de deal in gevaar brengen, men eindelijk bereid lijkt om het actief te handhaven, nadat Hamas eerder zei dat men geen 'geweer tegen het hoofd van een vrijheidsstrijder' zou houden.
Zahar pledges to arrest truce breachers
Jun. 28, 2008
Khaled Abu Toameh , THE JERUSALEM POST
Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip over the weekend issued new warnings to the Palestinian armed groups against violating the cease-fire agreement with Israel and threatened to arrest anyone who does not abide by it.
The latest warnings came after members of Fatah and Islamic Jihad fired a number of rockets at Israel last week.
This is the first time that Hamas threatens to arrest Palestinians who launch rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip. The threat is seen as a sign of Hamas's keenness to preserve the cease-fire and show that it is capable of enforcing its will on all the factions in the Gaza Strip.
Sources in the Gaza Strip told The Jerusalem Post that Hamas's security forces arrested Friday five Fatah militiamen on suspicion of firing three rockets at Israel last week. The five were arrested in the town of Bet Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, the sources said, noting that Fatah's armed wing, the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, had claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Mahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas official, said his movement's position regarding the violations made by Fatah and Islamic Jihad were "clear."
He said representatives of Fatah and Islamic Jihad have been summoned to meetings with Hamas officials who warned them against breaching the agreement.
"Some elements were working secretly to foil the [cease-fire] agreement," Zahar told reporters. "they don't want this agreement to succeed because they are working against the national interests of our people."
Zahar also said that some Palestinian "collaborators" and unruly factions were behind the attempts to foil the cease-fire agreement. He said that his movement has made it clear that anyone who violates the agreement would be arrested, even if he belongs to Hamas.
"We have reached an agreement with Islamic Jihad that anyone, even if he's from Hamas, would be arrested and disarmed if he violates the agreement," he said. "Those who violate the agreement would be accused of sabotaging the national program."
Asked if he was not concerned that Hamas would be accused of serving Israel by arresting rocket launchers, Zahar said: "Whoever makes such an allegation does not understand anything and is himself a collaborator with Israel. This agreement was reached on the basis of national consensus."
Zahar revealed that Hamas has already arrested a number of Palestinians who fired mortars and rockets at the border crossings in the Gaza Strip or trucks supplying fuel. He also revealed that some clans in the Gaza Strip have handed over their sons who were accused of violating the agreement and "harming the national interests of the Palestinians."
Hamas's Interior Minister, Said Siam, on Friday night summoned representatives of various Palestinian armed groups to an urgent meeting at his home where he warned them against breaching the cease-fire. "All those who accepted the agreement must now honor it," he said after the meeting. Anyone who acts otherwise will be held responsible and will be seen as serving the interests of Israel."
On Friday Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called on all Palestinian factions to honor the cease-fire with Israel.
Speaking at the conclusion of Friday prayers, Haniyeh said that "The [Palestinian] factions and people accepted the cease-fire in order to stop the Palestinian people's suffering, stop the siege [on Gaza] and bring an end to the Israeli occupation. Therefore, we hope that everyone will respect the national agreement, since its in our mutual interest," Haniyeh urged.
Haniyeh's call to honor the cease-fire came after it had been broken yet again earlier Friday by terrorists firing two mortar shells at southern Israel.
One of the shells landed near Kibbutz Kfar Aza, in the Sha'ar Hanegev region, while the other landed in an open area. No one was wounded and no damage was reported.
IDF spokesman Peter Lerner said industrial fuel was transferred Friday into Gaza to run power stations, but that most crossings remained closed.
Lerner said Israel last let food into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.
Herb Keinon, Yaakov Lappin and AP contributed to this report.