Talks to end the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip intensify and US Secretary of State John Kerry is now shuttling between Jerusalem and Cairo.

24 July 2014 | Alternative Information Center | Sergio Yahni

Kerry said that negotiations were making progress, ‘But there is still work to be done’, he told reporters in Jerusalem. At the same time, both the Palestinian and Israeli press quote senior Hamas officials who also report there had been progress in negotiations. However, Khaled Mashal insisted a ceasefire will be possible only after the siege on the Gaza Strip is ended.

Khaled Mashal, chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, has called for lifting the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip to render talks about a ceasefire agreement possible. Mashal stressed the need to allow aid convoys access to the besieged area.

“Our demands are legitimate and we have presented them to Turkey, Qatar, Egypt, and the Palestinian Authority”, he said in a press conference on Wednesday night, expressing appreciation for any effort toward meeting these demands.

“We will not accept any ceasefire that bypasses the Palestinian resistance’s demands, but we are ready for a humanitarian ceasefire with Israel”, he added.

Mashal stressed that Hamas will never agree to demilitarization as part of negotiations.

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