Israel to pay ‘very high price’ if it attacks Gaza: Hamas
AFP/Mahmud Hams

GAZA CITY, Palestine: Gaza’s Hamas premier Ismail Haniya warned Israel Sunday it would pay dearly if it heeded its foreign minister’s call to reoccupy the enclave to try to halt rocket attacks.

“We tell the enemy and (Foreign Minister Avigdor) Lieberman who is threatening to reoccupy Gaza that the time for your threats is over,” Haniya told a rally in Gaza City.

“Any aggression or crime or stupidity you commit will cost you a very high price.”

On March 12, during a two-day flare-up in which Gaza Palestinians fired at least 60 rockets into Israel and the Israelis responded with dozens of air strikes, Lieberman said Israel would have no choice but to reoccupy Gaza, from which it withdrew all troops and settlers in summer 2005. “There is no alternative to a full reoccupation of the entire Gaza Strip,” he told Channel 2 television.

Speaking to tens of thousands of supporters on Sunday at a public rally marking 10 years since an Israeli air strike killed Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Haniya warned Israel that Gaza militants “have far more capabilities than you imagine.”

He also restated his Islamic movement’s opposition to peace talks between Israel and the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

“Stop negotiating with the enemy,” he told the PA. “We will not recognize Israel.”

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