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News number: 9107130241

15:56 | 2012-12-25


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Hamas Dismisses HRW Report on Targeting Civilians

TEHRAN (FNA)- Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, rejected the Human Rights Watch (HRW)'s claim about war crimes by Hamas, and stressed that the resistance group only targets Israeli soldiers in response to attacks on Palestinian civilians.

"Fighters of (Ezzedine) Al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing of Hamas) target Israeli soldiers and bases but the Zionist enemy hides this and claims that our fighters are targeting civilians," The spokesman of Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, Abu Obeideh, said on Tuesday.

"The operations by (Palestinian) fighters are in response to the Zionist enemy's aggression against Palestinian civilians and civilian houses and sites in the Gaza Strip," he noted.

The remarks by Abu Obeideh came after Human Rights Watch said in a report published on Monday that Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel's civilian population have no lawful justification and are a war crime.

The report also blamed Hamas for civilian deaths in Israel and Gaza during 8-day Israeli war on Gaza in November.

Israel triggered an 8-day fighting by assassinating the military chief of the ruling Hamas group on November 14 followed by dozens of airstrikes on Gaza.

In response, Palestinian groups fired over 1,500 missiles and rockets at Israel.

Palestinian resistance groups targeted Tel Aviv and areas near Jerusalem for the first time in the history of confrontations between the two sides, launching a rocket attack in a major escalation of hostilities as Israel pressed forward with relentless airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

Israel called up thousands of reservists and massed troops along the border with Gaza, signaling a ground invasion of the densely populated seaside strip could be imminent.

But the attack on the Israeli settlement, along with an earlier strike on Zionists' capital Tel Aviv, frightened the Israeli regime, making it drop its aggression plans and ask for third party mediation.

Eventually, a Cairo-mediated ceasefire agreement, which took effect on Wednesday November 21, ended the Israeli attacks, which killed more than 165 Palestinians and injured about 1,269 others.