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Hamas chief says Israeli ‘crimes’ in Gaza meant to block Palestinian unity

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh weighs in on the fighting in the Gaza Strip after Israel’s targeted killing of Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata, condemning the Israeli “aggression” against Palestinians in the coastal enclave, which he says will “fortify the alliance of the resistance factions.”

“These crimes of the occupation come at a time in which our people’s factions and forces have made advances toward restoring our national unity in order to stand together in the battle of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa, settlements and prisoners,” Haniyeh says in a statement.

“The occupation’s leaders are trying to cause confusion as a part of a desperate effort to block the path to restoring our national unity, especially in light of the positive atmosphere in our Palestinian arena in recent days,” adds Haniyeh, in apparent reference to progress in efforts to hold Palestinian elections.

Haniyeh says targeted killings by Israel “will not succeed in changing the fighting creed of the resistance factions and forces.”

Haniyeh also says that Hamas’s leadership offers its condolences to Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ziad al-Nakhala regarding the “martyrdom” of Abu al-Ata and the son of Akram al-Ajouri, a member of the terror group’s politburo, who was killed in an airstrike in Damascus.

— with Adam Rasgon

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh attends a meeting with foreign reporters at al-Mat’haf hotel in Gaza City, June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

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