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Hamas: Israeli rejection of truce indicates escalation of aggression against Gaza

April 12, 2008 2:31 P.M. (Updated: April 12, 2008 2:31 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas said on Saturday they have not been informed that negotiations have stopped between Egypt and Israel to reach a truce.

Under the proposed deal Hamas say they will halt Palestinian rocket fire on condition that Israel stops their assassinations in the Palestinian territories.

Hamas said any truce with Israel will only take place on condition the blockade of the Gaza Strip is lifted.

The Israeli side has repeatedly rejected Palestinian demands. They say they have informed the Egyptians that as far as they are concerned the month-long talks that have failed to reach any positive results are now over.

Hamas leader Ayman Taha told Ma'an that he is suspicious of the Israeli rejection of Palestinian demands for a truce and he expects an escalation of Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip is imminent.

"If the enemy has rejected the truce I am sure that the region will face a clear escalation and we are prepared and have the weapons to oppose the occupation forces," he said.

Regarding the continued closure of the Rafah border crossing and the blockade imposed on the sector, he stressed that Hamas are in negotiation with high-level Egyptian officials to reach a solution.

"The Egyptians have always asserted that they have nothing to do with the siege imposed on the Palestinians but they are calling for Palestinians to cooperate in taking responsibility for the Rafah crossing," he added.

Taha said Hamas blames the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah and that they are responsible for the continued closure of the Rafah crossing. "The Hamas movement offered solutions to the blockade but the Palestinian Authority didn't respond," he said.

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