news Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | March 10, 2015 | 7:55 am IST

The Islamic Hamas movement on Monday denied Israeli media reports that it had reached a five-year truce with Israel.

"The Israeli media reports are lies and falsehood," Salah el-Bardaweel, a senior Hamas official based in Gaza, told Xinhua.

Israeli media said that Hamas, in a series of messages to Israel, had expressed interest in a long-term ceasefire in return for an end to the Israeli blockade and added, citing an Israeli government source, that the proposals had been transferred to Israel.

Al-Bardaweel denied the existence of such a deal.

"There are no agreements on any truce (deal) or ceasefire with the Israeli occupation except the one reached in Cairo last summer at the end of a 50-day Israeli war on the Gaza Strip," he said.

On July 8 last year, Israel waged a large-scale military operation on the Gaza Strip against Hamas and other Gaza militant groups, leaving over 2,000 Palestinians dead and over 11,000 wounded, two thirds of them civilians.

Since the end of the war and a ceasefire deal brokered by Egypt, talks to reinforce the truce have been stalled owing to the deteriorating security situation in the Sinai peninsula in Egypt and strained ties between Hamas and Egypt.

"Since the end of the war on the Gaza Strip, until now, Israeli occupation forces have been violating the ceasefire agreement. The last violation was killing a Gaza fisherman two days ago," said al-Bardaweel.

A Palestinian official said last month that Israel had decided to relax the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip for around eight years, according to media reports.

IANS

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