BEIRUT

Middle East

Hamas leader calls for humanitarian truce in Gaza

File - Newly elected Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal speaks at political conference on Palestine on April 4, 2013 in Cairo. (AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA)

DOHA: Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called on Wednesday for a temporary truce to allow humanitarian relief into Gaza, but said his group would keep fighting against an Israeli offensive and would not agree to a more lasting ceasefire without full negotiation of terms.

"We are very interested to have a humanitarian truce as we did last Thursday. We need the calm for a few hours to evacuate the wounded and assist in the relief... This means a real truce backed by a real relief programme offered to the people of Gaza," he said at a news conference in Qatar.

The leader of the Islamist group, which controls Gaza, asked for the international community to help bring medicine, fuel and other supplies into the territory.

However, he said that any more permanent ceasefire could only come about after Israel ended its siege, and could only be implemented after it had been fully negotiated.

"Everyone wanted us to accept a ceasefire and then negotiate for our rights, we reject this and we reject it again today," he said.

He said that despite efforts to broker a more lasting ceasefire, there had been no breakthrough.

 

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Summary

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called on Wednesday for a temporary truce to allow humanitarian relief into Gaza, but said his group would keep fighting against an Israeli offensive and would not agree to a more lasting ceasefire without full negotiation of terms.

The leader of the Islamist group, which controls Gaza, asked for the international community to help bring medicine, fuel and other supplies into the territory.

However, he said that any more permanent ceasefire could only come about after Israel ended its siege, and could only be implemented after it had been fully negotiated.


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