Saud Abu Ramadan, Emad Drimly
April 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian factions' armed wing on Wednesday declared a status of "preparedness" following the increasing Israeli army officials' threats to carry out a sudden military strike against its militants in the Gaza Strip, ruled by Islamic Hamas movement.

Abu Obeida, spokesman of Hamas armed wing, al-Qassam Brigades expected on Wednesday that the Israeli army would carry out a sudden military strike on the Gaza Strip "in any moment" in response to last Friday's military attack southeast Gaza Strip, where two Israeli soldiers were killed.

"All the current evaluations indicate that the Israeli occupation is planning to carry out a sudden military operation," Abu Obeida said in a press statement sent to reporters, adding " But I don't expect that the upcoming Israeli operation would be larger than last year's 22-day aggression on the Gaza Strip."

In the winter of 2009, the Israeli army carried out a large- scale military operation that lasted for 22 days on the Gaza Strip to stop homemade rocket attacks on its territories. Around 1,440 Palestinians were killed and 5,000 wounded, in addition to destroying thousands of houses and constructions.

Palestinian sources told Xinhua that al-Qassam Brigades " declared a status of alert" among its militants as a precautionary step that Israel might launch a sudden attack on the Gaza Strip, and retaliate last Friday's attack, where also two Palestinian militants were killed.

Abu Obeida declined to speak in details about the status of alert among the militants of his armed group, adding "if we declared a status of alert, we don't declare it publicly, but we reiterate that all our fighters are totally ready to be called and defend their lands and their people from any attack."

Meanwhile, Abu Hamza, the spokesman of the Islamic Jihad (Holy War) movement's armed wing, al-Quds Brigades in Gaza said that "al- Quds Brigades" which claimed responsibility for the attack last Friday "is completely ready to confront any military assault or aggression."

"The operation which was called 'lure stupid', carried out last Friday east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip, is part of a series of operations, planned with care and which took lots of time and efforts to carry it out," Abu Hamza said in a press statement sent to reporters.

He added that Gaza Strip militants, including the members of his armed group "are working round the clock to check targets for the Israeli army, and carefully plan a painful and powerful attack. Okaying any attack on these targets is made after careful study."

"Despite the simple and humble abilities of the Gaza Strip militants, I can say that the power of those militants is now ten times more than it was during the last Israeli war on the Gaza Strip," said Abu Hamza, adding that "these militant groups are fully ready to fight any offensive."

Israeli media reports had earlier on Wednesday quoted Israeli army sources as saying that "the Israeli response to the military attack east oh Khan Younis, would be firm and powerful," adding that "the head of factions armed wings should be concerned about their personal lives."

The Israeli army radio reported on Wednesday that the army investigated the circumstances of last Friday's military attack, where a senior officer and a soldier were killed. The radio said that the result of the probe showed that the attack was carried out when militants planted bombs in the area of the attack.

The radio said that the results of the investigations showed that there was a technical mistake which happened in the performance of the Israeli army force that was attacked by the militants when this force rolled deep into a territory inside the Gaza Strip without considering the dangerous consequences.

On Wednesday, al-Qassam Brigades published a videotape documenting the attack last Friday, where two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinian militants were killed. The tape showed the Israeli army force entering into the Gaza Strip and al-Qassam militants rained them with gunfire.

Both Hamas armed wing and the Islamic Jihad armed wing claimed responsibility for the attack. Since Friday, the borderline area between Israel and the Gaza Strip had witnessed a real tension, where the Israeli army artillery fired several bombs at militants, were trying to fire rockets at Israel.

The deposed government of Hamas movement in Gaza called for self-control and pass the opportunity for Israel to carry out another war on the Gaza Strip, adding in a press statement sent to reporters that "it highly appreciates the factions decision to skip the various opportunities for Israel."

"The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fully responsible for this escalation," Hamas government said, adding "the Israeli threat is an attempt to divert attention from the failed policies of Netanyahu and his government to more than one level."


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