Monday, 18 August 2014

Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Hamas spokesman on Sunday accused Israel 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 Israeli aerial assault on Gaza that was followed by a major ground invasion.

On Sunday, medical authorities in Gaza said that the total death toll of the assault in Gaza had hit 2,016 and more than 10,193 injured, as dozens more Palestinians succumbed to wounds sustained during the bombardment. more

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