REPORT: Hamas to end escalation with Israel, deploys forces on border with Egypt

Following rocket fired into Israeli territory and IAF strikes in Gaza Strip Saturday, reports claim Hamas committed to ending escalation with Israel; Hamas boosts forces on Egyptian border

Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades (Reuters)

Hamas has reportedly agreed to end escalation with Israel, reports released Sunday claiming an agreement was made by the terrorist organization to desist in attacks on Israel.

The Israel Air Force struck two Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday following a rocket fired into Israeli territory and incidents of cross-border mortar attacks following the IDF’s discovery of a second tunnel into Israeli territory. The IDF confirmed that two Hamas terrorist infrastructures were the target of the strikes.

Prime Minister Netanyahu held an cabinet meeting on Friday with security officials to access the security concerns of last week. On Sunday morning, the Prime Minister addressed Hamas stating “Israel will continue to operate as long as necessary to detect tunnels and thwart attacks. We will spare no resources or efforts. Over the past two years, these southern cities have flourished. We are not looking for an escalation, but we will not be deterred from doing what is necessary to maintain security.”

Hamas political deputy chief Ismail Haniyeh stated on Friday that “We [Hamas] are not calling for a new war, but we will not allow incursions or imposing facts on the ground by Israel in Gaza.” While Hamas claims it was not responsible for the rocket attack, Israel holds Hamas, the governing body of the Gaza Strip, responsible for any aggression on the State of Israel.

Hamas has additionally deployed militants to the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt, spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri claiming the reinforcement as a means to “maintain firm control of border areas” as part of the ceasefire agreement made with Egypt following Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. He stated that “Hamas has boosted its security presence along the Palestinian-Egyptian border in order to maintain firm control of the border areas after an agreement between Hamas and Egyptian officials. Hamas’ position is clear: Hamas will not allow Gaza to be a threat to Egypt’s security. The reports which spoke about the infiltration of extremist elements from the Gaza Strip into the Sinai Peninsula are merely Israeli allegations that aim to harm the relations between the Hamas movement and Cairo.”