World Bulletin / News Desk
Hamas will not accept a long-term truce with Israel being mediated by Egypt unless the deal includes lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said on Friday.
Addressing a rally in Damascus, Meshaal said Hamas has only received "vague" proposals from Egypt without an Israeli commitment to lift the siege, which is an illegal collective punishment on Gaza's 1.5 million population, reported Reuters.
The enemy has yet to offer a lifting of the blockade and a reopening of the border crossings. They have given no guarantee and we will not agree to any truce except in exchange for a lifting of the blockade and a reopening of the crossings."
"It is the first real war that the Palestinians won," he said.
Hamas officials are due to return to Cairo on Saturday to give a final reply to proposals to reach an 18-month truce with Israel after its invasion of Gaza, which was halted last month.
Hamas cites the blockade as a main reason for not renewing a previous six-month ceasefire with Israel in December, shortly before Israel began its 3-week offensive.
Hamas and Israel declared separate ceasefires on Jan. 18 but acts of Israeli air attacks and Palestinian responses have continued.
Israel launched on Dec. 27 a massive offensive in Gaza, killing more than 1300 Palestinians, a third of them children, and wounded at least 5300.
Israel targeted hospitals, schools, mosques and government buildings and destroyed infrastructure system in Gaza, lefting Palestinians without electricity, gas and power.
Hamas wants Israel and Egypt to reopen all Gaza's border crossings so that people and goods can move freely. Gaza has been under heavy blockade for most of the time since Hamas took power there in June 2007.
Gazans live under heavy Israel siege for a long time and Egypt still insists on not to opening the only Gaza border crossing in a move condemned by Muslims around the world in protests, leaving Gazans desperate to digging tunnels underground and risking their lives.
Last Mod: 07 Şubat 2009, 15:23