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Hamas will not give up its weapons, insists official

Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar speaks during an interview in Gaza City, Gaza on 24 August 2021. [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]
Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar speaks during an interview in Gaza City, Gaza on 24 August 2021. [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

A senior Hamas official has said that the movement will never give up its weapons and resort to the style of "begging" that the Israeli government is seeking. Mahmoud Al-Zahar made his comment in response to a proposal by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid for an "advanced humanitarian rehabilitation plan for the Gaza Strip."

The proposal includes economic rehabilitation, security and the rebuilding of infrastructure "subject to Hamas's commitment to a long-term lull." Al-Zahar explained that the suggestion has been "rejected" because it is an attempt "to barter Israel's security in exchange for basic essentials such as food and medicine for the people of Gaza."

Lapid pointed out that Israel's intention is not to negotiate with Hamas. "The Palestinian Authority is the only representative body for the Palestinians," he added.

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