March 22, 2011 - 12:00am

The deposed government of Islamic Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, and its armed wing al- Qassam Brigades vowed Monday to restore calm with Israel.

Hamas government said in a short press statement sent to reporters that "it still respects the national factional accordance over the security situation to foil the Israeli occupation plans to overcome its crisis on the expense of our blood."

Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida said in another statement that if the "enemy" commits not to escalate but to end the aggression, "we will be committed to calm too."

The Gaza Strip witnessed a significant escalation Saturday when al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for firing 33 homemade mortar shells at Israeli communities and army bases in southern Israel.

The group said the mortars attacks "were a natural response to the crimes of the Zionist enemy and retaliation to the ongoing Israeli airstrikes and tank shelling on the Gaza Strip."

Israel in return carried out a series of airstrikes, which targeted sites that belong to the security and police of the deposed government of Hamas, and shelled with artilleries the border areas, where five people were wounded.

Israeli warplanes carried out two airstrikes Monday night on training posts belonging to Hamas movement, witnesses said, adding that two explosions were heard in northern Gaza Strip.


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