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Hamas accuses Israel of obstructing efforts to reach ceasefire in Gaza

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Hamas accuses Israel of obstructing efforts to reach ceasefire in Gaza

Gaza, Feb 18 (IANS) Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has accused Israel of impeding efforts to achieve a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

In a press statement sent to Xinhua news agency, Haniyeh said on Saturday that his movement responded to efforts of mediation “all the time in a positive spirit and high responsibility” in order to “stop the aggression against our people, end the unjust siege, and allow the flow of aid and reconstruction”.

“We showed full flexibility in dealing with these issues, but it is clear so far that Israel continues to procrastinate in the negotiations,” he added as quoted by Xinhua news agency report.

“The Palestinian factions will not accept anything less than a complete cessation of aggression, the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Gaza Strip, the lifting of the siege, the return of the displaced, especially to the north of the Gaza Strip, an end to the starvation policy, and a commitment to reconstruction,” said the Hamas leader, stressing that these are “humanitarian requirements and a matter of consensus in the United Nations, human rights institutions, and the decision of the International Court of Justice”.

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Haniyeh also noted that his movement “will work by all means available to stop the bloodbath carried out by the enemy against our defenseless people”.

–IANS

int/khz

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