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    Palestinian Hamas masked gunmen display their military skills during a rally to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Hamas militant group, in Gaza City, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014

    Hamas Warns Against Gaza Turning Into Terror Safe Haven

    © AP Photo / Khalil Hamra
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    A Hamas official has urged the speedy reconstruction of the war-hit Palestinian territories to prevent the Gaza Strip from becoming a ground for extremism.

    MOSCOW, January 16 (Sputnik) — The statement by Khalil al-Haya came during a Gaza City meeting of MPs of Islamist movement Hamas.

     "Our message to the world, which is scared of terrorism and extremism, is that the delay in rebuilding Gaza and the continuing blockade against it will make it a ripe environment for the spread of extremism and terrorism. We warn of the consequences," Khalil al-Haya said.

    He spoke more than four months after about 2,200 people were killed in a two-month war between Israel and Hamas last summer.

    The war damaged tens of thousands of Gaza homes and left almost 100,000 people displaced.

    But four months on, the reconstruction of Gaza is still going slowly, with some fearing that the process will take years even if Israel considerably softens its blockade of the coastal strip.

    Hamas, branded by Israel a terrorist organization, earlier  condemned last week’s killing of 12 people in an Islamist attack on the Paris headquarters of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

    "Differences of opinion and thought cannot justify murder," Hamas said.

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    Tags:
    reconstruction, war, Hamas, Israel, Gaza Strip
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