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Hamas says renewal of Gaza ceasefire hedges on Israel commitment
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09:22, December 05, 2008

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The Islamic Hamas movement said Thursday a ceasefire between Palestinian militant groups and Israel, due to expire later this month, would not renew if Israel continues to violate its terms.

"Hamas and the Palestinian factions hold internal consultations to make a decision regarding the lull with the Zionist occupation," said Khalil al-Haya, a Hamas leader in Gaza.

"The lull would not be extended under the aggressions and siege against our people in the Gaza Strip and West Bank," he added.

Hamas launched a series of talks with the rest of the Palestinian factions to make a decision on the future of the truce.

The Egyptian-brokered six-month ceasefire declared effective on June 19, was rocked by a new round of violence between Palestinian armed groups and the Israeli army in early November.

The two sides started to engage each other on Nov. 4 when Israel killed six Hamas militants in an incursion to destroy an under-construction tunnel at the border which Israel said was used for abducting Israeli soldiers.

Since then, the Palestinian armed groups resumed their rocket attacks on Israel, and the Jewish state responded by intensifying military operations in Gaza, killing 19 Palestinians, and tightening the blockade on the Hamas-controlled enclave.


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