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Hamas to fire rockets from West Bank

Feb. 16, 2004 at 11:27 AM

GAZA, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- A senior member of Hamas said Monday the Palestinian militant group can now fire locally-made al-Qassam rockets at Israeli targets from the West Bank.

Mahmoud al-Zahar told UPI in an interview the Palestinian militants will resort to that means of "self-defense" which was previously limited to the Gaza Strip, whenever it is necessary.

"We are in a state of self-defense and we can use any means for protecting ourselves including the rockets against Israel which is using Apache helicopters in its continued assassinations in Gaza and the West Bank," al-Zahar said.

Brushing aside risks that Israeli civilians might be killed by the rockets, the Hamas leader said: "Palestinian civilians are being killed everywhere and our policy is based on the principle of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

Al-Zahar reiterated Hamas threats to kidnap Israeli soldiers in order to trade them for Palestinian prisoners following the suit of Lebanon's Hezbollah which recently traded four Israelis, including three dead soldiers, for Lebanese and Arab prisoners.

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