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Al-Qassam warns foreign airlines against flying into Israel

Hamas' armed wing issues warning against international flights to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport as of 0300 GMT Thursday

Ahram Online, Wednesday 20 Aug 2014
Qassam
Palestinian fighters from the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, stand inside an underground tunnel in Gaza August 18, 2014. A rare tour that Hamas granted to a Reuters reporter, photographer and cameraman appeared to be an attempt to dispute Israel's claim that it had demolished all of the Islamist group's border infiltration tunnels in the Gaza war. Picture taken August 18, 2014. (Photo:Reuters)
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Al-Qassam Bridgades, the armed wing of Gaza rulers Hamas, have issued a warning against foreign airlines flying into Tel Aviv, a day after an Egypt-brokered ceasefire fell through and fighting resumed between Israel and Palestinian factions in the besieged coastal enclave.

"We are warning international airlines and pressing them to stop flying into Ben Gurion airport from 6am (0300 GMT) Thursday," Al-Qassam's website said on Wednesday.

Flights to Ben Gurion were suspended earlier in July by US and European states due to a Palestinian rocket being fired nearby.

AFP mentioned that Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abou Obeida said in a speech broadcast on Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV channel, "We are calling on the Palestinian delegation to withdraw immediately from Cairo and not to return."

"There will be no return to talks after today and any move in this direction will never achieve any result," he added.

Israel and Palestinian factions have blamed each other for the collapse of an Egyptian-sponsored 24-hour truce late Tuesday which led to the re-eruption of armed confrontations.

Prior to that, Egypt brokered two 72-hour truce agreements and a five-day ceasefire in a bid to allow more time for negotiators from both sides to reach a common ground.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered new airstrikes on Gaza and withdrew his negotiators from the Cairo talks.

Fatah leader and head of the Palestinian delegation Azzam Al-Ahmed said his team will leave Cairo on Wednesday. "The enemy lost a golden chance to reach a ceasefire with limited demands, for which it will pay after today."

The wife and two-year-old son of Al-Qassam Brigades' commander Mohammed Deif were killed in an Israeli air strike on a building in Gaza City late Tuesday – but Hamas said Deif was still alive.

"The Zionist enemy failed to assassinate general commander Abu Khaled (Deif)," said Obeida, Al-Qassam Bridgades' spokesman.

The Israeli assault on Gaza has killed 2,047 Palestinians and 67 on the Israeli side since 8 July. Palestinian emergency services say more than 10,240 Palestinians have been wounded.

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