Hamas leader says talks with Israel seems positive
Khaled Meshaal, leader of the militant Hamas movement, on Friday said there were talks ongoing with Israel to reach a truce, though there was no agreement to date.
Israel on Monday had denied there were direct or indirect talks with the Islamic movement which controls the Gaza Strip.
“They seem positive but we have not reached an agreement yet,’’ Meshaal said.
The Hamas leader said that while there had been an effective truce in Gaza since 2014, the situation was not tolerable for residents of the enclave, who lived under a tight blockade.
He stressed that the armed movement would not give up its weapons as long as the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories continued.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair had reportedly met with Meshaal in recent months about a possible longer term ceasefire.
Since 2008, Israel has fought three wars in Gaza with Hamas and other factions, leaving thousands of people dead, mostly Palestinian civilians, according to data from the United Nations and human rights groups.