Amid heightened tensions, Hamas says committed to maintaining cease-fire

Despite recent incidents, Hamas says they are not interested in an escalation.

Gazans celebrate the 27th anniversary of Hamas' founding (photo credit: REUTERS)
Gazans celebrate the 27th anniversary of Hamas' founding
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas and other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip stressed on Thursday that they remained committed to the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel.
They called on Egypt to work toward resuming the indirect talks between Palestinians and Israel on ways of consolidating the cease-fire, which was announced last August following Operation Protective Edge.
The appeal came in response to Wednesday’s shooting incident along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel. A soldier was seriously wounded when Hamas terrorists opened fire at an IDF patrol. A top Hamas activist was killed when IDF troops fired back.
On Thursday, representatives of Hamas and other Palestinian groups held an emergency meeting to discuss the repercussions of the incident.
Following the meeting, the groups reiterated their keenness to preserve the cease-fire with Israel and warned Israel against violating it.
Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas official, said after the meeting that the Palestinians remained committed to the cease-fire as long as Israel also honored it.
Radwan said, however, that the Palestinian groups maintain the right to defend the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip against Israeli violations. He said the group representatives called for the formation of a “unified resistance front” to coordinate between the various armed groups in the Gaza Strip.
Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batsh said after the meeting that the incident on Wednesday was linked to the Israeli election campaign.
“The Palestinian factions won’t agree to a situation where Palestinian blood becomes the bill for Israeli elections,” he added. He urged the Egyptians to invite all parties to a new round of indirect negotiations in Cairo “to make sure that Israel continues to honor the truce.”