Hamas denies halt of Egyptian mediation for Gaza truce

By Mustafa Habbush

GAZA CITY (AA) – Palestinian group Hamas on Saturday denied Israeli media reports about halting Egyptian mediation between Gaza-based factions and Israel.

“Egyptian efforts aimed to reach a truce in Gaza are still ongoing,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Anadolu Agency.

He said: "Hamas did not ask Cairo to stop its efforts."

Israeli media reported on Friday that the Palestinian group, which rules the Gaza Strip, has asked Egypt to halt its mediation.

A delegation from Egypt’s intelligence service has been holding a shuttle diplomacy between Gaza, the West Bank and Israel in recent weeks, during which they are meeting with officials of Hamas, Fatah and the Israeli government.

The talks are taking part with a view to reaching a truce between Hamas and Israel in one side and achieving Palestinian reconciliation between the Palestinian rivals.

On Friday, Israeli warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes across the Gaza Strip, citing rocket fire from the blockaded Palestinian territory.

At least five Palestinians were killed and dozens injured by Israeli army fire during anti-occupation protests along Gaza border.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured by Israeli troops deployed near Gaza’s buffer zone since such rallies began on March 30.

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