Hamas Official: We Can Take Over West Bank

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - A senior Hamas member said his group was prepared to take control of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) as it took the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Sami Abu Zuhri said Hamas would not sit idly by if Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party continued harassing its members.

The latest round of violence began with a bombing nearly two weeks ago in Gaza City, which killed five Hamas members and a young girl.

Hamas retaliated with a raid on the Fatah-affiliated Hilles clan, an extended Palestinian family, in the Sajaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City, which left 11 dead and dozens wounded.

Nearly 200 members of the clan fled under heavy fire to the Israeli border, which eventually led to the majority being relocated to Jericho.

Meanwhile, reports of beatings and torture of detainees by both sides continue flaming the fans of dissent between the two factions.

Abu Zuhri told AP that while Hamas wasn't actively planning a military takeover, it was still an option.

"If arrests continue, they will lead to unplanned-for responses, whether from resistance fighters [armed gunmen] or the people," he said.

A spokesman for Fatah, Fahmi Zaarir, dismissed the threats.

"If they can do anything, let them do it," Zaarir said. "We are not afraid," he added.

Source: The Associated Press

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