21/12/2008 Shin Bet security service chief Yuval Diskin said Sunday that Hamas is capable of firing rockets that can strike targets as distant from Gaza as the Negev capital of Be'er Sheva.
He told a meeting of the Israeli cabinet that rockets could also hit Kiryat Gat and Ashdod, settlements which thus far were seen as beyond range.
Hamas officials, meanwhile, are not ruling out a renewal of martyrdom bombings in occupied territories. Ayman Taha, a Hamas representative in Gaza, said that under the current conditions, no cease-fire is in effect whatsoever. "Rocket fire is in the hands of the military wing. It will decide how to react," he said. "Resistance must continue in every way and by every means, as long as the occupation continues."
According to Diskin, Hamas has lifted its reins from other armed organizations, and had resumed firing on its own.
"Make no mistake, Hamas is interested in continuing the truce, but wants to improve its terms. It wants us to lift the siege [on Hamas-ruled Gaza], stop [IDF] attacks, and extend the truce to include Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]," Diskin said.
There is no effective mediator between Israel and the Palestinian side, he said. The Egyptians are sitting on the fence, and there's a lack of trust between Hamas and Egypt, he continued, adding that were Hamas to find itself in a situation in which it needed Egyptian mediation, the Egyptians will again be players.
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