GAZA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- Hamas authorities agreed with Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip not to fire rockets at Israel for the time being to avoid possible Israeli military reaction, a senior official said on Saturday.
"We have agreed with the factions that nobody carries out any action involving rockets for now," said Fathi Hammad, Hamas' interior minister.
But if Israel sent troops to the Hamas-controlled territory, then the militants would have "an open space to respond," Hammad added during a meeting with Gaza journalists.
Hammad explained that the agreement aims at avoiding another Israeli military operation and to "enable people to relief and rebuild" following Israel's military offensive last winter.
In the winter offensive, 1,387 Palestinians have been killed and thousands of houses and public institutions were damaged.
Hamas has been controlling Gaza since 2007, after it had routed security forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas.
Meanwhile, Hammad has denied Abbas's statements that Hamas movement was seeking closed-door negotiations with Israel. "There are no secret deals and our position is clear; the land of Palestine is an Islamic endowment" that can't be put for negotiations.
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