A SENIOR Hamas official said the Palestinian Islamist movement will continue to arm its militants in the war-battered Gaza Strip as well as on the West Bank.
“We never failed to get arms into Gaza even during the (Israeli) war and under the bombardment,” the Hamas representative in Beirut, Ossama Hamdan, told a rally in the Lebanese capital overnight.
“We have the right to hold weapons. We will continue to get arms into Gaza and the West Bank … Nobody should think that we will surrender to any measures,” he said.
The remarks came a week after a ceasefire in Israel’s 22-day Operation Cast Lead which killed more than 1300 Gazans.
“Warplanes, aircraft carriers and satellite technology will not be able to monitor the entry of weapons through Gaza’s tunnels,” Mr Hamdan said.
“Things might get difficult, but we will do whatever it takes to continue our resistance against Israel.”
Israel has signed an agreement with the United States to prevent Hamas from smuggling weapons.
Under the agreement, the United States will reportedly provide “logistical and technical assistance and… train and equip regional security forces in counter-smuggling tactics”.
Cairo has repeatedly denied that arms have been smuggled into Gaza through a network of tunnels linking Egypt to the impoverished Palestinian enclave, saying the arms were being delivered by sea, an account disputed by Israel.