Hamas Warns Foreign Airlines to Steer Clear of Ben Gurion

Image: Hamas Warns Foreign Airlines to Steer Clear of Ben Gurion An Israeli ELAL aircraft taking off from Ben Gurion Airport, in Lod, Israel, outside Tel Aviv. (Abir Sultan/EPA/Landov)

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 02:07 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Hamas has threatened to launch new rocket attacks against Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport as it warned foreign airline carriers to stop flights to the Tel Aviv airport starting at 6 a.m. Thursday, Haaretz reported.

The warning came after another cease-fire ended Tuesday with the Palestinian group and Israel blaming each other for the collapse of talks in Cairo aimed at seeking a long-term peace accord.

Hamas said that Israel had violated the cease-fire by attempting to assassinate its military chief in Gaza City while Israel alleged that its forces had retaliated with strikes in Gaza after the terror organization had fired missiles into Israel.

Hamas said in an official statement that Israel "failed" to kill elusive military leader Mohammed Deif, and that he would continue to lead the Palestinian struggle against Israel, according to Haaretz.

In its statement, Hamas taunted Israeli military officials by saying, "You have failed and you have missed. The leaders of the enemy were behind their offices looking at the screens and their intelligence and apparatuses made them believe that the moment of celebration was imminent."

The Hamas spokesman also said the Palestinian delegation has been pulled out of Cairo and ordered not to return to the negotiating table.

"The enemy missed a golden opportunity to reach a truce deal," he said, adding that "the Egyptian offer was a stillborn, and it was buried today together with Mohammed Deif's son."

The Israeli Defense Forces said that 150 rockets and mortar shells had been fired at Israel from Gaza since the cease-fire, which were aimed at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and southern regions.

Hamas has set its sights on Israel's strategic interests, including Ben Gurion airport east of Tel Aviv, which handles 14 million passengers a year, during its efforts to damage Israel's economy.

Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan also told CNN last month that the group is targeting the airport with rocket attacks because it's used by the Israeli air force to strike targets in Gaza.

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