While the fighting rages on between Israel and Palestine in the Gaza strip, Hamas said it would only support a long-lasting truce that included an end to the years-long blockade of the Palestinian territory.
In an interview with CNN, Hamas’ political leader Khaled Meshaal, who is based in Qatar, said Hamas would only support a long-term ceasefire if Israel changes its policy on restricting the movement of goods and people to Gaza.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Khaled Meeshal” author_title=”Hamas political leader”]
As far as the sustainable cease-fire, this is connected to an agreement accepted by the two parties that will guarantee our Palestinian demands headed by lifting the siege on Gaza.
Israel began the blockade in 2006 when Hamas won the Palestinian elections, and toughened it in 2007 when a U.S. and Israel-backed attempt to overthrow the leadership, through Fatah, failed.
Meshaal also assailed Israel’s continuous attacks on Gaza’s tunnels and said it was the main reason why ceasefire talks have failed in the recent weeks.
“This is because a truce is a truce, but the presence of the Israeli forces inside Gaza and destroying the tunnels means it’s an aggression, because they are inside the Gaza territories,” the Hamas leader said, adding that the “Palestinian resistance has the right to self-defense and the right to deal with the invading Israeli forces who are inside our Gaza territories with necessary means.”
1,822 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of hostilities almost a month ago. 70 percent of the casualties have been civilians. Several U.N. schools and camps have been shelled, with the latest attack occurring in Rajah, where at least 10 people were killed, The New York Times reported.