(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas warned over the weekend that it would continue to attack Israel as long as its demands are not fulfilled.
The warning came as a Palestinian delegation representing various groups, including Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, continued discussions with Egyptian security officials about achieving a long-term cease-fire with Israel.
The Hizbullah-affiliated newspaper Al-Akhbar
quoted Hamas sources as saying that the movement would attack Tel Aviv on Sunday if its demands were not met by then.
The sources said that the Palestinian delegation has informed the Egyptians that its members would leave Cairo on Sunday if no progress is made in the cease-fire talks.
The head of the Palestinian delegation, Azzam al-Ahmed of Fatah, said on Friday that the team would not leave Cairo until an agreement is reached that complies with all Palestinian demands, including giving the Gaza Strip its own airport and seaport.
“There is no going back and the resistance will continue with full force,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum. “There will be no concessions on the demands presented by the Palestinian delegation in Cairo. Israel’s intransigence and foot-dragging won’t benefit it.”
Izzat al-Risheq, a Hamas member of the delegation, claimed that Israel used Saturday as an excuse to stay away from indirect talks [with Hamas] in Cairo.
“Its army is continuing its aggression an shelling of the Gaza Strip on Saturday,” al-Risheq said. “This excuse is silly.”
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that his movement would not make any concessions regarding its demand to have a seaport in the Gaza Strip. “Such a port would be the Palestinian gate to the outside world,” he explained.
Senior Hamas official Ahmed Bahr reiterated his movement’s refusal to disarm. “The weapons of the Palestinian resistance will stay as long as Israeli occupation exists on our occupied land,” Bahr said. “The painful strikes of the resistance on Israel will drive the Israeli negotiator to accept all the demands of the resistance. This is the only language of negotiations they understand.”
Al-Ahmed, the delegation head, said on Friday that the Palestinian demands were “clear” and there would be no concessions on them, especially with regards to the airport and seaport in the Gaza Strip.
He told reporters in Cairo that the current cease-fire discussions would not continue indefinitely.
“We haven’t asked for anything new and that’s why Israel has no right to say this is permitted or that it not permitted,” the Fatah official said. “We have told the Egyptians that we will stay in Cairo until we reach an agreement to end the bloodshed and lift the siege on the Gaza Strip.”