Hamas rejects Israel’s disarmament demand


Senior leader of Islamist movement Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, Friday rejected Israel’s demand that the group be disarmed as a condition for ending the long-running blockade of the Gaza Strip and permitting the opening of an air and seaport there, media reported.

Haniyeh told a gathering near Gaza City that “we cannot accept or deal with any international decision to disarm the resistance”, a reference to Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups, MENA news agency reported citing ABC News.

Israel has said that it would press for Hamas’s disarmament in indirect talks in Cairo aimed at charting a way forward for Gaza in the wake of a 50-day war that killed more than 2,200 people – almost all Palestinians. The fighting ended Aug 26.

Hamas is pushing for the opening of an air and sea port in the densely populated coastal strip and the lifting of Israeli border restrictions imposed in 2007.

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