GAZA, May 12 (Xinhua) — A Hamas official said on Wednesday that Hamas’ conditions for any cease-fire with Israel are that Israel “completely stops violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque and the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem.”
In an interview with local media, Hamas spokesman in Gaza Fawzi Barhoum also denied reports that a high-ranking Egyptian security delegation was expected to arrive in Gaza soon as part of the efforts to reach a cease-fire between Israel and the militant groups in Gaza.
Earlier in the day, a Palestinian source close to Hamas told the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper that Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations are making contacts to reach a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.
The source said the last contact with the three mediators was on Tuesday afternoon when they proposed a comprehensive cease-fire that begins at midnight.
“Our answer was clear that there would be no cease-fire before stopping the Israeli assaults in Jerusalem and stopping the airstrikes on the Gaza Strip,” the source added.
The tension in the Gaza Strip has been flaring up since Monday afternoon, with more rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel and Israeli fighter jets intensifying bombing on militants’ posts and facilities in Gaza.
Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Hamas-run health ministry, said in a press statement that 56 Palestinians were killed, including 14 children, five women and one elderly man, and 335 were wounded as a result of the ongoing Israeli airstrikes.
Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said in an official press statement sent to reporters that Bassem Issa, commander of the militant group in Gaza city, was killed in an Israeli air attack.
According to the statement, Issa, along with three other militants, was killed while preparing for launching more rockets from Gaza into Israel. Enditem