Hamas preparing for Israeli counterattack

Sept. 12, 2007 at 3:36 PM

GAZA, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Hamas has begun evacuating its Gaza offices and security sites in preparation for an anticipated counterattack from Israeli forces for a recent rocket attack.

The Jerusalem Post said Wednesday that following a rocket attack on an Israeli training base, Hamas officials have started evacuating the organization's public offices and security installations in Gaza.

Hamas leaders publicly applauded the attack on the base in the Israeli community of Zikim, calling it a response to previous atrocities committed by Israel.

"Resistance is a legitimate right of the Palestinians," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said of such incidents. "The resistance is entitled to respond to Israeli crimes so as to deter the enemy."

Yet since the attack, regional journalists have said both Hamas officials and area residents were preparing for an imminent response from the Israeli military.

The Post said that along with evacuating their Gaza sites on Tuesday, Hamas officials were warned to avoid their homes as precautionary measure.

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