Hamas Vows to Rearm: 'We Know How to Acquire Weapons'
Less than 24 hours into a ceasefire it agreed to after a devastating defeat by IDF forces, Hamas vowed Monday to rearm as soon as possible.
"Manufacturing the holy weapons is our mission, and we know how to acquire weapons," Hamas's military spokesman Abu Ubaida told journalists at a news conference in Gaza.
The terrorist group agreed Sunday afternoon to halt its rocket fire against southern Israeli communities about 12 hours after Jerusalem declared a unilateral ceasefire. Israel warned, however, that it would renew military operations if Hamas resumes its attacks or tries to smuggle more arms into Gaza.
Abu Ubaida declared that "all options would be open" if IDF troops were not out of Gaza by the end of the week, a condition demanded by the terrorist organization when it announced its own ceasefire.
No one in Jerusalem was surprised by the news. "That is to be expected," said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman, Mark Regev. "We have no deal with Hamas, and we have no illusions about Hamas."
Regev said that the IDF had "substantially destroyed the Hamas military machine" and that the terrorist group would "think twice and three times" before resuming its rocket fire on Israeli communities, however, because it is "against their basic interests at this point."
The prime minister's spokesman expressed confidence that the "international arms embargo" put into place Sunday by European leaders at the summit hosted by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh would prevent the group from rearming. "Iranian weapons have to reach the Gaza Strip," Regev said. "We have reason to believe that this is going to work."
Leaders of eight European and Arab countries, as well as the heads of the United Nations and the Arab League met in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss arrangements for a "durable truce" in Gaza.
Hamas terrorists had continued to insist they would not be bound by any agreement worked out without their participation. They were not invited to the summit, which included among the participants Palestinian Authority Chairman and rival Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
The conference was also attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Turkey's President Abdullah Gul, and the prime ministers of Britain, Italy, Spain and the Czech Republic, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Also present were United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the head of the Arab League.
Following the summit, the heads of all six European nations traveled to Jerusalem to meet with Israeli leaders and promise their technical and physical support in stopping Hamas from acquiring new arms.