Hamas leader rejects ceasefire efforts
Speaking in Qatar, political chief Khaled Mashal demands Israel lift blockade, says Gaza-based group will never agree to disarm.
"We reject the cycle of ceasefire and negotiations," said Hamas' political chief Khaled Mashal on Wednesday night at a press conference in Qatar. "We rejected it today and we will reject it in the future."



Mashal said the Gaza-based group "would not accept an initiative that does not include lifting the blockade. Today Israel is worried about what happened at Ben Gurion Airport. Do you want a blockade in return for the blockade? Today the resistance in Gaza can blockade you, in the future it will from the West Bank."


"You blockade our air space, we will blockade your air space," threatened Mashal.


Mashal stressed that Hamas will never agree to demilitarization as part of negotiations. "No one will break the resistance with Allah's help. Under the table they talk about disarming the resistance of its weapons. No one can disarm the resistance with Allah's help."


He said there were only two conditions for demilitarizing "the resistance – the first is the end of the occupation and the second is the disarming of Israel from its weapons."


He emphasized that Hamas was the victim in the conflict and reiterated that the IDF blockade of the Gaza Strip must be lifted. "We need fuel, food supplies, and electricity."


Mashal started his speech with a minute of silence in memory of the Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip. "From the beginning we said that this was an act of aggression not a war between equal sides, against Israeli deception and international hypocrisy."


The Hamas leader blamed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Helpless Netanyahu blamed Hamas in the kidnapping of three settlers and punished those in the West Bank and Jerusalem," he said, despite the Israeli announcement that two Hamas members were behind the kidnapping and murder.


"No one knows, even now, who planned the kidnapping," claimed Mashal.


Elior Levy contributed to this report.


First published: 23.07.14, 21:59
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Hamas leader rejects ceasefire efforts"
This will delete your current comment