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'Hamas won't hold direct talks with Israel'

Says Ismail Haneya, deputy chief of the Islamic Hamas movement in Gaza, after Israel leader Musa Abu Marzooq agrees to talk

Gaza: Deputy chief of the Islamic Hamas movement in Gaza, Ismail Haneya, said on Saturday that his movement is not intending to hold direct talks with Israel. “Hamas won’t hold direct talks with Israel,” Haneya said in a meeting with Palestinian reporters in Gaza.

Ismail Haneya. Pic/AFP
Ismail Haneya. Pic/AFP

Haneya reacted to an earlier statement made by senior Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzooq, who said in an interview with a pro-Hamas television channel that if Hamas found itself obliged to directly talk to Israel, “it
will do so.” Abu Marzooq also said that the talks with Israel “are not taboo.”

Meanwhile, Haneya said that Hamas could never compromise on exchanging the principle of reconstructing the Gaza Strip with disarming the Gaza-based militant groups, mainly the Hamas movement’s armed wing.

“The Palestinian resistance arms are a red line and will never be confiscated until the establishment of the Palestinian state,” Haneya said, adding that reconstructing the Gaza Strip was a legal right of the Palestinian people.

The senior Hamas leader urged Egypt, which brokered a ceasefire deal with Israel on August 26 that ended a 50-day Israel offensive on Gaza, to keep following up on the implementation of the ceasefire agreement.

According to the deal, both Israel and Palestinian were scheduled to get back to Cairo after one month of reaching the agreement of ceasefire to discuss other issues.

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