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Hamas refuses disarmament

Brady, KateAugust 28, 2014

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has said the Palestinian Islamist movement will not disarm until all its demands are met. He added that the latest 50 days of bloodshed would not be the last round of conflict with Israel.

Gaza hofft auf Wiederaufbau
Image: DW/K. Shuttleworth

Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas will refuse to disarm, as demanded by Israel, until all ceasefire demands are met, according to the group's leader Khaled Meshaal on Thursday.

"The weapons of the resistance are sacred and we will not accept that they be on the agenda" of future negotiations with Israel, Meshaal told a news conference in the Qatari capital, Doha where he lives in exile.

Meshaal went on to call on Egypt to open the Rafah border as a "brotherly action."

The Hamas chief added that the latest 50 days of bloodshed between Israel and Hamas would not be the last round of conflict between the two, but was a "milestone to reaching our objective."

"This is not the end," Meshaael said.

Since Tuesday's ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, the fishing zone for Palestinian fishermen in the Mediteranean has already been expanded to six nautical miles from shore. This is set to gradually increase to 12 nautical miles.

Under the terms of the ceasefire, Israel will also relax restrictions at the two border crossings with Gaza, enabling vital humanitarian aid and construction materials to be transported into the impoverished Gaza Strip.

Negotiating teams will return to Cairo within a month, where key demands from Hamas regarding a harbor and airport in Gaza will be addressed.

More than 2,100 Palestinians and 70 Israelis were killed during the seven weeks of Gaza's deadliest violence in a decade. A further 11,000 people have been injured, with more than a quarter of the territory's 1.8 million population being internally displaced.

ksb/jr (Reuters, AFP)