CAIRO — Offers made to the Palestinian delegation in Cairo do not meet the aspirations of the people, said Hamas's head of foreign affairs, Osama Hamdan, raising doubts about the chances of reaching a truce with Israel in the Cairo-brokered talks. Hamdan said on his official Facebook page on Saturday: "Israel must accept the demands of the Palestinian people or face a long war." Israel launched its military campaign on July 8 to quell cross-border rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza.
The United Nations said 425,000 of 1.8 million population of Gaza have been displaced by the war, which has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians and 67 Israelis. Most of the Palestinian dead have been civilians, hospital officials in the small, densely populated enclave say. Israel and the Palestinians agreed on Wednesday to extend a ceasefire agreement in Gaza by five days to continue indirect negotiations on a lasting truce. The ceasefire expires on Monday. The two sides are not meeting face-to-face in Cairo: Israel regards Hamas, which advocates its destruction, as a terrorist group. Hamas's demands include lifting a blockade on Gaza.
First published August 16 2014, 11:38 AM