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Hamas MP: Keeping military arsenal only 'guarantee' to break siege

Aug. 10, 2014 11:43 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 10, 2014 3:53 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Hamas member of the Palestinian parliament on Saturday insisted that the group was determined to maintain its military arsenal in the face of Israeli calls for it to disarm, calling the group's weapons the "only guarantee" for Gaza's future.

"The weapons of the resistance are the only guarantee for Palestinians to break Gaza's siege and rebuild Gaza together," Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Ismail al-Ashqar said on Saturday.

Al-Ashqar said in a statement released by the media office of the parliament that "Palestinians and the factions of the resistance demand to unconditionally rebuild the Gaza Strip," highlighting that he and "all Palestinians" trust that the resistance is "able to achieve it's conditions and to force Israel and it's allies to accept them."

The Palestinian delegation at ceasefire talks in Cairo has insisted that the eight-year long blockade of the Gaza Strip be lifted as a condition for any ceasefire, which Israel has so far refused to consider.

Israel has instead countered that reconstruction of the Gaza Strip -- which has been pounded by more than 30 days of Israeli airstrikes and shelling from land and sea -- be conditional on the disarmament of Hamas, otherwise it will continue to limit the import of basic materials like concrete.

Al-Ashqar said that the "victory of the resistance in the battlefield proves the failure of both the Israeli and the American security systems," stressing the importance of "investing the field victory of the resistance" politically and on "holding on the resistance's terms."
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