Hamas says it has ‘suicide units’ ready to confront Israeli ground forces in Gaza
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Hamas says it has ‘suicide units’ ready to confront Israeli ground forces in Gaza

Islamists also threaten to resume suicide attacks in Israel; single report of Hamas agreeing to ceasefire with Israel starting midnight

Elhanan Miller is the former Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Palestinians wave Hamas flags during a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza and against Israel's military operation in the coastal enclave, in the WestBank city of Ramallah November 16, 2012 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
Palestinians wave Hamas flags during a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza and against Israel's military operation in the coastal enclave, in the WestBank city of Ramallah November 16, 2012 (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Hamas’s armed wing reported Saturday evening that it has prepared its combat forces in Gaza to engage the IDF, and warned that it would deploy “suicide units,” amid reports of an Israeli callup of 75,000 reserve soldiers.

Also Saturday, Hamas put out a video threatening in Hebrew to resume suicide bombings inside Israel.

A single report claimed, by contrast, that Hamas had agreed to a ceasefire to commence Saturday midnight.

The Al-Qassam Brigades elaborated on their fighting forces, which include units to “protect the borders of Gaza from Zionist incursions”; observation units assigned with targeting Israeli ground movements; and special units trained at close combat with IDF soldiers “relying on the tunnels.”

The Brigades also announced the deployment of suicide units and the creation — for the first time — of women suicide forces to confront Israeli soldiers, the Hamas-affiliated Palestinian Information Center reported.

A spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades, Abu-Ubaida, vowed to inflict “more serious” blows to Israel in the coming days, in a statement published on the movement’s website.

On Saturday, Hamas aired a propaganda clip on its television station threatening in Hebrew to resume suicide attacks in Israeli cities.

“We have missed suicide attacks,” declared the narrator. “Wait for us soon in the bus stations and cafes.”

Meanwhile, a Palestinian news agency, Donia Al-Watan, claimed Saturday evening that Hamas had agreed on a ceasefire brokered by Egypt, Turkey and Qatar. The ceasefire was supposed to take effect at midnight following a final agreement by Israel, it said. The report was unsupported by other sources.

Earlier on Saturday, Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal met in Cairo with Egyptian minister of intelligence Raafat Shehata. Egypt hosted Qatari leader Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifah Al Thani, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mashaal to discuss the situation in Gaza, Reuters reported.

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