Hamas leader says talks with Israel 'seem positive'

2015-08-21 11:57

Istanbul - The leader of the militant Hamas movement, Khaled Meshaal, said there are talks ongoing with Israel to reach a truce, though there is no agreement to date, according to Friday's al-Araby al-Jadeed newspaper.

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 was quoted as saying in the interview about the alleged negotiations.

The Hamas leader said that, while there has been an effective truce in Gaza since last year, the situation is not tolerable for residents of the enclave, who live under a tight blockade.

Meshaal stressed 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 has 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.

Read more on:    tony blair  |  palestine  |  israel  |  middle east peace

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