Monday, October 31, 2011

Gaza fighters say truce holds, warn against Israeli escalation

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Islamic Jihad's military wing warned on Monday that it would respond with new tactics if Israel does not keep to a truce brokered by Egypt.

The al-Quds Brigades is committed to the truce as long as Israel is committed, spokesman Abu Ahmad told Ma'an.

Israel has tried to evade the halt to hostilities brokered by Egypt on Sunday, he said.

While the group will keep to the truce, if Israel escalates hostilities, they will respond immediately and severely, he added.

He told Ma'an that the group had used a new portable launcher to fire rockets into Israel on Saturday, and had further tactical developments at its disposal.

Israeli airstrikes on Saturday killed nine al-Quds Brigades fighters in Gaza, and militants fired a volley of rockets and mortars into southern Israel, killing one Israeli in Ashkelon.

An Egyptian-mediated truce early Sunday came unstuck as Israeli war planes killed one DFLP fighter in the afternoon, and the PFLP claimed rocket fire into Israel.

Reports of another truce deal late Sunday were followed by an overnight Israeli airstrike which killed two fighters with the Ansar al-Mujahidin Brigades, the military wing of Al-Ahrar movement.

An Ansar al-Mujahidin Brigades spokesman told Ma'an on Monday that his group "respects the national consensus, but will respond to the killing of two fighters overnight."

The fighting is the worst cross-border violence since August when 27 Palestinians and one Israel were killed in exchanges of fire after Israel blamed a Gaza-based group for deadly attacks on Israeli city Eilat.

Maan News Agency