The military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has expressed readiness to resume fighting against Israel if talks for extending a 72-hour humanitarian truce with Tel Aviv fail.
“We appeal to the Palestinian delegation to not accept a ceasefire unless it satisfies the demands of our people,” AFP quoted Abu Obeida, a spokesman for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, as saying on Thursday.
Hamas fighters are “ready to return to battle,” he added.
The three-day ceasefire in the besieged coastal enclave, which came into effect on Tuesday, is set to expire on Friday.
“We will not agree to stop the battle without a real end to the (Israeli) aggression and a real lifting of the siege,” the spokesman said.
Palestinian and Israeli delegations are currently in Egypt to hammer out the details of a lasting truce. They are reportedly holding indirect talks through Egyptian officials.
“If there is an agreement, it will be possible to extend the truce, but if there is not, we will ask the delegation to withdraw from the talks,” Abu Obeida added.
Hamas has proposed a ceasefire agreement, which includes the lifting of the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and the opening of the Rafah border crossing, as well as the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Additionally, Hamas says Tel Aviv should recognize the Palestinian national unity government made up of both Hamas and Fatah factions.
On July 8, Israeli warplanes began pounding numerous sites in the Gaza Strip, demolishing houses and burying families under the rubble. Israeli troops also launched a ground invasion into the impoverished Palestinian territory on July 17.
The Israeli regime’s relentless attacks against the Gaza Strip left nearly 1,900 Palestinians dead, more than 430 of them children, and injured over 9,500 others.