Hamas: Gaza war not over until demands met

Gaza City - A senior Hamas official told supporters at a Gaza City rally on Thursday that the war with Israel won't be over until the group's demands for a lifting of the Gaza blockade are met, insisting that its fighters would never give up their arms.

"Our fingers are on the trigger and our rockets are trained at Tel Aviv," the official, Mushir al-Masri said, as Egypt struggled to broker a lasting truce between Israel and Hamas, with an Egyptian official saying that Gaza-based militants were refusing to compromise.

Cairo is mediating indirect talks between Israel and Hamas on extending a 72-hour cease-fire that expires on Friday morning. Hamas has demanded the lifting of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade imposed on the coastal territory after the Islamic militant group seized power in 2007.

Israel has said the militants must disarm first, which al-Masri insisted was out of the question.

"The war is not over yet. Our men are still in the field, manning forward positions, our fingers are on the trigger, and our rockets are trained on Tel Aviv, and Lod and beyond," he told several thousand supporters in the first mass rally since the fighting began on 8 July.

"It is out of the question that the weapons of the resistance should be on the negotiating table. They have not been put on the table, and God willing, they will never be."

Al-Masri insisted fighters are "in good shape" despite the nearly monthlong war and still had tunnels extending into Israel that could be used for attacks if Hamas' demands are not met.

The Egyptian security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk to the media, said the Palestinian delegation's stance had hardened after the arrival in Cairo of Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders from the Gaza Strip.

He said Azzam al-Ahmad, the leader of the delegation and the representative of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, had threatened to withdraw from the talks if the two militant groups do not show more "flexibility", adding that the delegation, which was supposed to leave Cairo on Thursday, would stay through the weekend.

Palestinian delegates could not immediately be reached for comment.

The war stemmed from the killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank in June. Israel blamed the killings on Hamas and launched a massive arrest campaign, rounding up hundreds of its members in the West Bank, as Hamas and other militants stepped up rocket fire from Gaza.

On 8 July Israel launched a massive air assault on the territory and nine days later it sent in ground troops it said would target rocket launchers and cross-border tunnels built by Hamas for attacks inside Israel.

Nearly 1 900 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, three-quarters of them civilians, according to the United Nations. Israel says some 900 Palestinian militants were among the dead. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three civilians inside Israel have also been killed.

Read more on: hamas palestine israel gaza
ShoSho 2014/08/07 09:50:06 PM
Them be fightin' words...
Clive Toerien 2014/08/07 09:55:27 PM
lol well get ready to get your ass kicked some more.
Binte Maya 2014/08/07 09:56:37 PM
Lets hope for the sake of all those involved they can reach an agreement without the need for violence n more bloodshed!!
Noor Bhai 2014/08/07 10:05:19 PM
In April of this year, an event took place which horrified the Israeli government: A unity agreement was formed between Gaza and the West Bank, between Hamas and Fatah. Israel has been desperately trying to prevent that for a long time. There’s a background we could talk about, but it’s important. Anyhow, the unity agreement came. Israel was furious. They got even more upset when the U.S. more or less endorsed it, which is a big blow to them. They launched a rampage in the West Bank. What was used as a pretext was the brutal murder of three settler teenagers. There was a pretense that they were alive, though they knew they were dead. That allowed a huge—and, of course, they blamed it right away on Hamas. They have yet to produce a particle of evidence, and in fact their own highest leading authorities pointed out right away that the killers were probably from a kind of a rogue clan in Hebron, the Qawasmeh clan, which turns out apparently to be true. They’ve been a thorn in the sides of Hamas for years. They don’t follow their orders. But anyway, that gave the opportunity for a rampage in the West Bank
Bnet Jonas 2014/08/07 10:14:06 PM
The Christian population in Gaza has been decimated Hamas has already won that battle. Catholic, Methodist, Anglican, Presbyterian or whatever your denomination lets put our differences aside and unite against the Muslim onslaught
Raymon McNelly 2014/08/07 10:29:05 PM
I just love N24's photos ... All the little children to pull on the heartstrings.
rorypreddy 2014/08/07 10:45:08 PM
Propaganda news24...try at least to be unbiased
Wehr Wulf 2014/08/07 10:45:52 PM
This is like a chewed up mouse making demands on the cat while in its mouth.
Alan Yates 2014/08/07 10:59:12 PM
@Noor, your comment Is classic Taqiya and Tawriya. The founding desert Bedouin of the Islamic Ideology said two things his sycophants apply to this day (1) War is deceit and (2) I have benefitted from terror. Islam will never stop fighting the infidel according to koranic imperative of permanent Jihad to impose Islam on the Globe. Islam says there is no God but the god of their founding desert bedouin tribesman. Islam says all people are Muslims some just don't know it yet and thus are already guilty of the crime of rejecting their god. Islam says if a country has a mosque then the mosque is there until the end of time to be fought for and the country is Islamic. In Iraq today HAMAS equivalent ISIS is saying to Christians of Iraq ; convert to Islam, pay Jizya (Mafia extortion tax) or die. TODAY the UN Security Council is in emergency session to try to find a way to stop Muslim on Christian and other nonuslim Genocide. No Noor, Israel's defeat of HAMAS is to stop it from its Islamic Jihad to commit Genocide against Jews in Israel and the world. Leftist political arguments are a smokescreen of Muslim Propaganda directed at people with a non-Islamic world view to cover up Jihad motive.... Watch MEMRI on the web to see what Islamic politicians and "clergy or commissars" say in Arabic... You will be shocked...
No.You're a handbag 2014/08/07 11:09:32 PM
Omg. Why do these idiots persist in attacking Israel and then crying when they retaliate?