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Hamas leader: No talks with Israel right now on lull renewal
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20:04, December 22, 2008

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Senior Islamic Hamas movement leader in Gaza Mahmoud al-Zahar said on Monday that there are no direct or indirect contacts with Israel right now to renew the lull in the Gaza Strip.

Al-Zahar said in a statement that "there are no contacts to renew the Tahde'aa (truce) with Israel," adding that his movement hasn't held any recent contacts with Egypt, the truce broker, to extend it for another six months.

Egypt has brokered a truce between Israel and Gaza militant groups, led by Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip since June last year. On Friday, the truce ended, without any indications by both sides to extend its period.

According to the unwritten truce deal, Gaza militants refrain from attacking Israel by rockets, while Israel eases the blockade, reopens Gaza border crossings and stop military actions against Gaza.

"Israel, unfortunately, was not committed to the truce and hasn't fully implemented it, mainly the complete opening of Gaza commercial crossings," said al-Zahar.

Al-Zahar ruled out that Israel would carry out a military large-scale operation into the Gaza Strip, adding "we have been hearing so over the past three years."

After the truce ended on Friday, Gaza militants fired barrages of rockets at southern Israeli towns in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip, which has been under a strict closure for several days.

Hearing that Israel is preparing for a large-scale operation, Gaza residents began on Monday to store food, although no flour or cocking gas and fuels were allowed into Gaza for several days.

Source: Xinhua



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