Hamas insists Israel stalling on agreement

Hamas insists Israel stalling on agreement
Mon Aug 18, 2014 08:16:25

A Hamas spokesman has accused the Israeli regime of "stalling" in ongoing negotiations in Cairo to achieve a long-term truce in Gaza, stressing that "the ball is in the Israeli occupation's court."

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said during a march in solidarity with Palestinian resistance in Rafah that the group's "priority is to reach an agreement, but the occupiers must stop stalling."

"We are discussing an agreement from a position of strength, not weakness," he said, adding: "Either we have an agreement that meets our demands, or no agreement."

"Israelis will not enjoy safety until our people do and the siege is completely lifted. (Israelis in the south) will only return home when Hamas allows them to, not when Netanyahu does," he said.

Israel "must be ready for the consequences of the failure to agree," he added.

The remarks come on the fourth day of a five-day temporary ceasefire in the hostilities that began more than five weeks ago with a massive Zionist aerial assault on Gaza that was followed by a major ground invasion.

Indirect negotiations in Cairo between Israeli and Palestinian delegation with representatives of all major political parties including Hamas have offered a hope of reaching a lasting ceasefire and an end to the Israeli assault.

Despite signs of a potential agreement at the end of the current five-day temporary ceasefire, however, it is still unclear whether a deal is in the works, the temporary ceasefire will be re-extended, or hostilities will recommence Monday at midnight when the ceasefire ends.

The Palestinian delegation has insisted that any long-term truce must include an end to the Zionist regime's eight-year siege on the Gaza Strip, release of dozens of re-arrested prisoners whom were released in 2011 as part of the Shalit exchange, re-opening of a seaport and airport in Gaza, and creation of a safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The Tel Aviv regime, however, has countered that any agreement should include the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip, which Palestinians resolutely reject, particularly in light of the recent assault.


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