Hamas: No calm with blockade
Hamas insisted on Thursday there would be no calm in the Gaza Strip unless Israel lifts its blockade of the impoverished Palestinian territory. "The Palestinian groups will not give a truce to Israel if Israel does not accept our demand to end the closure, open borders and stop aggression," Hamas official Ismail Haniya said in a statement.
According to AFP, Haniya, a former Palestinian prime minister, said the Hamas delegation was returning on Thursday from Cairo where Egypt sought to mediate a truce between Israel and the Palestinians. "The Egyptians presented us their proposal for a ceasefire and then returned with the Israeli response, and we are now waiting for the results of talks in Cairo between factions and Egyptian mediators," he was quoted as saying.
Haniya went onto saying "our hands are extended to all our Palestinian brothers for the people's unity and real political partnership."