Mashaal: 'Israel responsible for blocking Egypt's effort's to broker truce'

"Israel is responsible for blocking Egypt's efforts to broker a [Gaza] truce by adding a new condition at the last minute," Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal was quoted as saying on Tuesday. An AFP report quoted the exiled leader as saying that, "A truce can come about only in exchange for a lifting of the blockade and the reopening of the crossing points. It is unacceptable to combine the truce issue with the question of Israeli prisoner Gilad Schalit. Earlier Tuesday, however, the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat quoted a senior Hamas member as saying that Hamas had no objections to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's demand that a deal Schalit's release be finalized before a cease-fire agreement.