April 9, 2011 / 9:27 AM / 9 years ago

Hamas threatens to esclate if Israeli raids persist

GAZA, April 9 (Reuters) - Militant group Hamas said on Saturday it would escalate it attacks against Israel to include a wider range of targets if Israel failed to halt its aerial assaults on the Gaza Strip.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri blamed Israel for an escalation in violence. “If the Israeli escalation continues, amid international silence and complicity, the reactions by resistance factions will broaden,” he told Reuters, saying such actions would be necessary to protect Palestinians in Gaza.

Violence has flared since Hamas claimed responsibility for firing a rocket at an Israeli school bus on Thursday, critically injuring a teenager. Hamas has said it was responding to previous lethal Israeli assaults on its members. (Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; editing by David Stamp) (allyn.fisher.thomsonreuters.com; +972-2-6322202; Reuters Messaging:allyn.fisher.thomsonreuters.com@thomsonreuters.net))

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