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PM: Israel Will Not Accept Any Ultimatum Posed by Hamas

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Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh gestures as he delivers a speech in Gaza City, Jan. 23, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Mohammed Salem. – Israel will not accept any ultimatums from Hamas and ‎its policy in Gaza will be dictated solely by its security ‎interests, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his cabinet on Sunday.

Speaking ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu ‎dismissed a demand by Hamas military leader Yahya ‎Sinwar, who reportedly urged Israel to pay Gaza’s rulers $15 million ‎in cash every month or face an escalation in border violence and ‎arson terrorism. “There is no way Israel will accept any ultimatum posed by Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

The terrorist group further demanded that the first ‎payment be made by this Thursday, according to Channel 12 news.

According to the report, Sinwar said the funds would go toward paying Hamas functionaries’ ‎wages. The demand seeks to circumvent the financial ‎sanctions imposed on Gaza by Palestinian Authority ‎President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Ramallah-based government has frozen ‎the transfer of funds used to pay Hamas’ ‎wages as part of efforts to wrest control of ‎Gaza from Hamas. ‎

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The cabinet was to discuss Hamas’ threats, ‎as well as the recent border flare-up in its weekly session.

The Israeli Air Force bombed 80 terrorist targets in ‎Gaza over the weekend, after Islamic Jihad terrorist ‎fired some 40 rockets at southern Israel.‎

The Iranian-backed terrorist group later agreed to ‎an Egyptian-brokered truce with Israel. ‎

Sunday’s cabinet meeting began with a moment of silence in ‎honor of the victims of Saturday’s mass shooting at ‎a Pittsburgh synagogue, which left 11 people dead ‎and six wounded.‎

‎”Israel mourns with the families of the victims who ‎lost their lives in the horrendous Pittsburgh ‎massacre,” Netanyahu said.‎

‎”On behalf of the Israeli public, I extend our ‎condolences to the families. We stand as one against ‎anti-Semitism and such barbaric violence,” he said.

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