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Hamas rejects Egyptian initiative for truce with Israel

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Gaza, July 15 (IANS) Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Hamas movement, on Tuesday rejected an Egyptian initiative for truce with Israel, saying that there would be no ceasefire before reaching an agreement.

"We reject any ceasefire before reaching a truce agreement," Sami Abu Zuhri, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said in a statement, adding that Hamas was still under occupation and resistance was the right of their people to defend themselves.

Egypt presented a five-point initiative for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip on Monday, calling for a ceasefire on the ground, and then inviting the warring parties to go to Cairo for a detailed agreement, Xinhua reported.

But Abu Zuhri said they have not received any official initiative from any side.

"If the published text of this initiative is correct, we only say that this is an initiative of subordination and submission, al-Qassam Brigades totally and completely rejects it," the statement said.

Since July 8, Israel has been engaged in a large-scale aerial operation against the Gaza Strip, where Israeli war jets have carried out hundreds of intensive strikes on targets that belong to Hamas and other militant groups in the coastal enclave.

The Gaza-based health ministry said the operation has killed 187 people, wounded 1,390 others, and destroyed more than 250 houses.

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