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Hamas Burns US & Israeli Flags, Threatens to Renew Attacks

Hamas terrorists and supporters burned American and Israeli flags over the weekend, and threatened to continue attacks against Israel if the government does not offer more concessions.
First Publish: 3/13/2005, 1:54 PM / Last Update: 3/12/2005, 11:59 PM

The terror group also formally announced it plans to participate in the scheduled Palestinian Authority (PA) parliamentary elections this July. Hamas recently scored major victories in local PA elections.

Saturday's protest came prior to an anti-PA demonstration protesting the high unemployment among Arabs in the PA. Stone-throwers broke windows of the PA council building in Gaza, and PA police shot in the air to keep the crowd from forcing its way inside the building.

"No one is optimistic about continuing this cooling down period indefinitely," Hamas leader Mahmoud a-Zahar told reporters. "Israel must offer something in return or the resistance will continue." He said that Hamas would not agree to disarm, contrary to PA Chief Abu Mazen's promises to repress terrorism.

A-Zahar added that Hamas is depending on Egypt to support its demands. A meeting of several terrorist organizations is scheduled this week in Egypt. Israel has prevented Islamic Jihad terrorists from attending, but Hamas members will be allowed to go.

Another terror leader, Muhammad al-Hindi of Islamic Jihad, said. "This march is a message saying yes to the intifada. Everyone knows that there will be no cease fire." The Islamic Jihad was behind the recent suicide bombing in a Tel Aviv nightclub which killed five people, as well as other very recent attempted attacks that were thwarted by Israeli security forces.

Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz said Saturday night that he is aware of the danger that a wave of terror attacks will resume, but said Israel "must take the chance."