Hamas says no to permanent ceasefire

Marzouk: So long as Israeli occupation continues, the resistance will continue; demands Israel halt op.

Hamas abu marzouk 248 88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
Hamas abu marzouk 248 88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Despite mounting international pressure for an end to hostilities between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, Hamas declared on Wednesday that it would not accept any permanent cease-fire with Israel. According to the deputy head of Hamas's political bureau, Moussa Abu Marzouk, the group would not talk about a permanent cease-fire so long as Israel continued its "occupation," and would instead continue the "resistance." He said that Hamas stood by its demand for Israel to immediately halt its offensive, to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and to open all of the border crossings. The borders between Israel and Gaza were closed when Hamas took control of the area in a violent coup against Palestinian Authority forces in June 2007. In July 2008, a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel was signed which permitted the borders to be opened permanently so long as Palestinian rocket fire into Israeli territory ceased. As rocket fire persisted, Israel periodically closed the borders. In December 2008, Hamas declared it would not renew the cease-fire due to Israeli "violations." Marzouk said, however, that Hamas was studying the various initiatives coming from France, Turkey, Syria and Egypt to bring about a cease-fire.