Hamas official warns of new Israeli attack on Gaza

Ahram Online, Thursday 31 Oct 2013

Current Palestinian-Israeli negotiations will not grant Palestinians their basic rights, Hamas official Aly Baraka tells former Lebanese PM

Hamas official Aly Baraka (Photo: Ahram)

Aly Baraka, a Hamas official in Lebanon, warned that Israel is preparing to launch a new attack on the Gaza Strip, emphasising the need for united Arab efforts to fight Israeli aggression and support Palestinian resistance.

After a meeting with former Lebanese prime minister Selim Al-Hems, Baraka warned of the consequences of the Gaza blockade, which has cut off Palestinian access to basic necessities, Egypt's state-run news agency MENA reported on Thursday.

Baraka asserted that the current Palestinian-Israeli negotiations will not grant Palestinians their basic rights.

Baraka added that Israel is the only entity that stands to gain from extending its power over additional Palestinian land, making the possibility of an independent Palestinian state increasingly unlikely.

Baraka pointed out the dire state of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, where more than 50,000 internally displaced Syrian Palestinians have emigrated.

Baraka urged the Lebanese government to reconstruct the Nahr Al-Bared refugee camp in order to accommodate the influx of new refugees, and to protect the Dabbaya camp currently under threat of demolition by the Lebanese interior ministry.

Baraka concluded that a Palestinian presence in Lebanon can only help stabilise the country, and he expressed his continued support for Lebanese sovereignty and security.

A 2012 Israeli assault on Gaza resulted in the death of around 170 Palestinians, with six Israelis dying due to retaliatory rocket attacks by Hamas.

Under the guidance of Egypt and the US, a ceasefire between the two sides was announced at a Cairo press conference in November 2012. US President Barack Obama had thanked the Egyptian government for mediating a truce in Gaza between Palestinian resistance groups, including Hamas, and Israel.

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