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Hamas armed wing denies connection with arms ship seized by Israel

English.news.cn   2014-03-07 01:08:52

GAZA, March 6 (Xinhua) -- The armed wing of the Islamic Hamas movement on Thursday denied any connection with an arms ship intercepted by Israel in the Red Sea Wednesday.

Israel said the vessel was bound for the Gaza Strip.

Izz al-Deen al-Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas that rules Gaza, said in a statement the Israeli allegations that the ship was heading to Gaza are "untrue."

However, the military group stressed that "the Palestinian resistance has the right to obtain various kinds of weapons to protect the Palestinian people and their occupied lands."

The Israeli claims are only meant to tighten its blockade on the Palestinians in Gaza, read the statement.

On Wednesday, the Israeli military said its naval forces intercepted an Iranian ship in the Red Sea that ferried missiles for militants in the Gaza Strip.

The army said the Panamanian-flagged vessel was carrying Iranian-made medium-range missiles and was intercepted in the Red Sea about 930 miles from the Israeli coast.

Israel imposes maritime and land blockade since Hamas, one of Israel's sore foes, took over the coastal enclave in June 2007 after routing forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The recent weeks have witnessed a military escalation between the Gaza militants and Israel. Mounting tension has raised doubts of a possible collapse of a ceasefire deal between two sides which was brokered by Egypt in 2012.

Over the past five years, Hamas and other militant factions in Gaza fired thousands of homemade, Iranian-made and Russian-made missiles at Israel, killing and wounding dozens of Israelis.

Editor: yan
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