Hamas backs away from full scale conflict

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 | 
Hamas has backed away from all out war against Israel, despite Israel’s assassination of a commander of the group in a missile attack yesterday in the Gaza Strip. Hamas promised revenge but said it will continue to abide by an informal truce declared nine months ago. "Our people have the right to respond to the Israeli crimes committed against our civilians and our holy warriors," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. "Our commitment to the calm does not mean that we don't have the right to retaliate." Israeli military officials say Hamas wants to maintain the relative calm because of its participation in landmark Palestinian elections in January.

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