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Hamas official rules out extending Gaza ceasefire
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09:24, December 15, 2008

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A Hamas leader on Sunday ruled out extending ceasefire with Israel, accusing Israel of thwarting the lull.

The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire took effect in Gaza Strip in June and will expire on Dec. 19. It calls on Israel to ease Gaza blockade in exchange for halting cross-border violence between Palestinian fighters and Israeli soldiers.

"The (Israeli) occupation forces tore down the lull, its conditions and terms by sealing off the crossing points and keeping on its aggression against the Palestinian people," said Khalil al-Haya, a Hamas leader based in Gaza.

"I don't expect that the factions will extend the lull," he added.

The ceasefire relatively held until early November when Israeli forces carried out a sudden raid in southeast Gaza Strip, killing six Hamas militants and sparking rocket attacks by the armed Palestinian groups.

Up to 17 fighters were killed since the resumption of violence and Israel tightened the blockade on Gaza Strip, allowing only several convoys of food supplies in.

Source: Xinhua

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