Gaza conflict: Hamas lays ground rules to broker ceasefire
The leader of Islamist militant group Hamas, Khaled Meshaal has said that no ceasefire agreement with Israel can stand for long unless Israel fulfills a cache of demands made by the outfit including, lifting the eight-year old economic blockade imposed by the nation on the Gaza strip.
According to the BBC, other demands made by Hamas are: the opening of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt and the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Meshaal however, also added that the militant group will not say no to a humanitarian truce because they need time to evacuate the wounded. He also requested the international community to help bring medicine, fuel and other supplies into Gaza.
Israel imposed an economic blockade on the Gaza strip after Hamas abducted an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit in 2006.The restrictions were tightened further by Israel and Egypt in 2007 after Hamas ousted rival Fatah and forcibly took control in Gaza after winning elections the year before.
Hamas and Fatah although struck a truce in April but it was disregarded by Israel who places Hamas on its terrorist watch list.
The conflict has soared ever since Israel launched an offensive against Gaza on July 8. At least 690 Palestinians, 32 Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians have been killed in the conflict in the last 15 days. Almost 5000 Palestinians have fled the village of Khuzaa, in the south, after a ground incursion by Israeli troops, the report added.
(Posted on 24-07-2014)