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Hamas Claims Its Missiles 'Can Hit Tel Aviv' as Group Clinches Deal to Defuse Tensions With Israel

© REUTERS / AZIZ TAHERPalestinian group Hamas' top leader, Ismail Haniyeh, gestures as he is carried during his visit at Ain el Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Sidon, Lebanon September 6, 2020
Palestinian group Hamas' top leader, Ismail Haniyeh, gestures as he is carried during his visit at Ain el Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Sidon, Lebanon September 6, 2020 - Sputnik International
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Last week, the Palestinian militant group Hamas announced that it had reached a Qatari-mediated "understanding" to end the latest escalation of violence with Israel.

Hamas has missiles capable of striking the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, Ismail Haniyeh, chief of the Palestinian militant group's political bureau, said on Sunday.

"Our missiles had a range of several kilometres from the border with Gaza. Today the resistance in Gaza has missiles that can hit Tel Aviv and beyond Tel Aviv", Haniyeh said during a meeting with leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut.

The statement followed an announcement last week by Hamas that after talks with Qatari envoy Mohammed el-Emadi, the group had concluded a deal to end escalating hostilities with Israel.

"An understanding was reached to rein in the latest escalation and end [Israeli] aggression against our people", the office of Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas in Gaza, said.

Hamas, Israel in Grip of Violence

Violence between the two sides once again increased over recent weeks as they exchanged missile strikes after months of calm due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apart from rockets, Hamas also used so-called fire bombs, crude explosive devices attached to balloons, condoms, or plastic bags and which set off more than 400 fires in southern Israel.

In a separate development, the AFP news agency cited an unnamed source as saying last month that Hamas had launched a barrage of rockets into the Mediterranean in a specific "message" to Israel.

According to the source, the strikes were meant to show Israel that Gaza militants will not "remain silent" in the face of an Israeli blockade and "aggression".

Israeli F-15 - Sputnik International
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Israel unilaterally withdrew its troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005, in what was followed by Hamas taking control of Gaza in 2007, following a short-lived armed conflict with rival Palestinian faction Fatah in June of that year.

The Israeli government, which designates Hamas as a terrorist group, then imposed a land, air, and sea blockade of the enclave in a bid to prevent weapons from coming into Gaza.

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