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Cairo - Hamas Says Israel Must Make First Move On Ceasefire

Published on: November 19, 2012 10:05 AM
By: Reuters
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 A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency shows Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (R) meeting with Khaled Mashaal, the head of the Political Bureau of Hamas (L), in Cairo, Egypt, 18 November 2012.  EPA A handout picture released by the Egyptian Presidency shows Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (R) meeting with Khaled Mashaal, the head of the Political Bureau of Hamas (L), in Cairo, Egypt, 18 November 2012.  EPA

Cairo - The exiled leader of the Palestinian group Hamas said on Monday Israel must take the first step if it wants a truce in the conflict in Gaza.

“Whoever started the war must end it,” Khaled Meshaal told a news conference in Cairo.

Meshaal also said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had requested a ceasefire - an assertion the Jewish state immediately denied.

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Israel bombed dozens of targets in Gaza on Monday for a sixth day on Monday but mediator Egypt said a deal to end the fighting could be close.

Twelve Palestinian civilians and four fighters were killed in the air strikes, bringing the Gaza death toll since fighting began last Wednesday to 90, more than half of them non-combatants, Gaza officials said. Three Israeli civilians have been killed by Hamas rocket fire over the border.

Meshaal said a truce in Gaza was possible but Hamas would not yield to any Israeli conditions. Hamas did not want an escalation or to draw Israel into a land invasion but was ready to fight back if the conflcit escalated.

Israel had failed to achieve its objectives in Gaza, he said.

“The weapons of the resistance have caught the enemy off guard,” he said. “Netanyahu asked for calm and not us.”

A senior Israeli government official denied that Netanyahu had requested a truce.

The Hamas leader also called for solidarity in Arab and Palestinian ranks.

“The people of Gaza are not asking for an end of the war, they are asking for their rights, they are asking that Israel end its assassinations and its raids and lift the blockade of Gaza,” he said.


More of today's headlines

Gaza City - Big armoured bulldozers with blades tall enough to plough through houses and carve a path for tanks and infantry were lined up on Israel's border with Gaza... Gaza Strip - Witnesses say an Israeli airstrike has hit a high-rise in downtown Gaza City where a number of local and foreign news organizations have offices. Gaza...

 

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Read Comments (6)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 19, 2012 at 10:49 AM Mark Levin Says:

Typical bullies! You start with me, I finally beat the blank out you, but YOU want ME to stop first???!!!

As they say in Israel, lech l'azazel chamor!

2

 Nov 19, 2012 at 10:56 AM Huh? Says:

meshal stares "the people of gaza are not looking for an end of the war".
ok, so thank you for the invitation to keep bombing your people.
This brings the "be careful what you wish for, it might come true" maxim to a new level of peculiar irony.

3

 Nov 19, 2012 at 12:15 PM kitniyot Says:

That's rich- they didn't even honor the 3-hour ceasefire on the 16th.

4

 Nov 19, 2012 at 12:20 PM Anonymous Says:

The same old BS. When will they learn to choose life and not glorify death??

5

 Nov 19, 2012 at 02:00 PM Not_just_that___ Says:

Theee first move toward lasting peace is wiping out the vermin.

6

 Nov 19, 2012 at 02:39 PM Anonymous Says:

napalm the smell of victory!!!!!

7

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