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Hamas rejects Blair’s proposal on truce with Israel

Gaza: Hamas on Saturday announced its rejection of a proposal by the Middle East Quartet’s former envoy Tony Blair on reaching a long-term truce with Israel, a media report said.

Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said in a statement carried by the Islamist movement’s website that the group does not have a new truce deal, but an implementation of the ceasefire agreement announced by Egypt on August 26 last year, Xinhua reported.

“We told Blair and others that in order for the ceasefire to take hold and not go from a ceasefire to a new confrontation with the occupation, you need to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip,” al-Zahar said.

Hamas confirmed for the first time on August 13 that it has conducted a meeting with Blair to stabilise the ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Later, Hamas officials said these talks were still in the making and have not reached a final stage, while various media reports said the talks reached a dead-end.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied that Israeli officials held any meetings with Hamas either directly or indirectly, Xinhua said.