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Hamas Official: We’re Not Seeking War With Israel, Our Tunnels Are Defensive

The Jerusalem Post reports: GAZA – A senior leader of the Islamist group Hamas said the Palestinian movement was not seeking a new war with Israel and insisted a network of tunnels it is digging, some of which have reached into Israel in the past, was “defensive.”

Speaking to members of the Foreign Press Association in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar, a medical doctor seen by many as a hardliner, suggested the prospects of reconciliation with the rival Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas were slim, despite years of international efforts to forge unity.

“I think nobody here in the region is looking for a war,” said Zahar, 71, who has survived two Israeli assassination attempts, one of which, in 2003, killed his son.

“We are not looking for any confrontation with Israel, but if they are going to launch an aggression we have to defend ourselves,” he told reporters late on Wednesday.

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