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Hamas rejects ceasefire prior to truce agreement

The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement has announced that it rejects a ceasefire with Israel prior to reaching a truce agreement. However, Hamas confirmed that it had not "thus far" received any official initiatives regarding "the truce" from any party, Anadolu news agency has reported.

Sami Abu Zuhri, the movement's spokesperson, said in a press statement released in the early hours of Tuesday that what is being circulated regarding the disarming of the resistance is "rejected" and is not subject to discussion. "We are a people who live under occupation," he stressed. "Resistance using all means is a legitimate right for people under occupation."

He affirmed that Hamas also rejects the notion of a ceasefire before a truce has been negotiated. "It has never happened before in the case of war that a ceasefire is observed before negotiating," he insisted.

The Hamas communique was released nearly four hours after Egypt announced an initiative on Monday to "stop the aggression against the Palestinian people" in accordance with a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry. The Egyptian initiative states that Israel shall cease all hostilities against the Gaza Strip via land, sea and air, and shall commit to refrain from conducting any ground raids against Gaza and targeting civilians. It also states that all Palestinian factions in Gaza shall cease all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel via land, sea, air and underground, and shall commit to refrain from firing all types of rockets, and from attacks on the borders or targeting civilians. In addition, Egypt called for all crossings to be opened and the passage of persons and goods through border crossings to be facilitated once the security situation becomes stable on the ground. The initiative also states that other issues, including security issues, shall be discussed with the two sides.

The military wing of Hamas, meanwhile, issued its own statement early on Tuesday morning in which it pointed out that no communication has been received from any "official or unofficial" party, despite what media reports might claim.

"The initiative," said the Ezzeddin Al-Qassam Brigades, "is not worth the ink with which it was written." A ceasefire before truce negotiations would, the statement added, be nothing but "submission and capitulation"; the armed wing rejects this "in its entirety and in its details".

The brigades vowed to continue to battle against the Israelis with "increased intensity and ferocity", and to "be loyal to the blood of the martyrs" of the people of Palestine.


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