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Dec 17,2007
Hamas warns Israel of 'surprises'
by UPI

JERUSALEM -- Palestinian Hamas militants warned Israel of "surprises" Monday if the Israeli military stages a major offensive into the Gaza Strip.

A spokesman for the group, Abu Oviada, told the Al-Hayat Arabic newspaper published in London, the group had learned from mistakes, the Jerusalem Post reported.

"The areas in the strip that the Israelis are used to entering without resistance are full of surprises," Oviada said without further elaboration.

He hinted the group had improved its weaponry and said Israel's near-daily attacks on suspected rocket-launching sites had destroyed about 1 percent of their arsenal, the report said.

Oviada said Hamas was in frequent contact with allies in Iran and the Hezbollah faction in Lebanon but denied either was providing arms or training. He said in any case it was Hamas' "prerogative to acquire guns and training from all available sources."

The western Israeli Negev region has been under near daily rocket attacks from Palestinian-controlled areas in recent weeks, particularly around the city of Sderot. Each attack has drawn almost guaranteed Israeli aerial counterattacks and political debate over a major air and ground offensive.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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