(MENAFN- The Peninsula) GAZA: Palestinian resistance group Hamas on Monday condemned a UN envoy for 'holding Palestinian groups accountable for every tension with Israel.
"We strongly condemn the remarks of Mladenov which ignore the crimes of invaders, the threats against our people, and their right of self-defense," Hamas said in a written statement.
Nikolay Mladenov, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, wrote on Twitter on Sunday: "The reckless actions and statements of militants in Gaza risk a dangerous escalation."
"Palestinians have embarked on a course to solve the humanitarian crisis in the [Gaza] Strip and bring back the legitimate authorities. They should not be distracted by extremists," he added,
On Monday, Israel arrested a leader of Palestinian group Islamic Jihad in the occupied West Bank.
The arrest came after the country threatened that it would respond to a possible attack in response to Israel's destroying a cross-border tunnel two weeks ago, killing 10 of the group's fighters and two belonging to Hamas.
Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, head of the Israeli military authority in the occupied Palestinian territories, warned that Israel would give a "harsh and determined" response that would target Islamic Jihad's Damascus-based leaders as well as the Hamas movement, which has ruled Gaza for the past decade.
In October, Hamas and Fatah -- Palestine's two main political factions -- signed a landmark reconciliation agreement in Cairo aimed at ending 10 years of bitter division.
If it holds, the deal will allow the Fatah-led Palestinian government in Ramallah to assume political and administrative responsibility for the Gaza Strip.
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