Gaza rallies to continue until blockade is lifted - Hamas | Eurasia Diary -

26 August, Monday

Gaza rallies to continue until blockade is lifted - Hamas

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Hamas has vowed to continue organizing weekly demonstrations along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone until Israel lifts its 11-year-blockade of the Gaza Strip.
“The Great Return March has been the lifeline of the Palestinian cause,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh told supporters in Gaza City on Monday, in reference to the weekly demonstrations along the fraught buffer zone.
“And it will continue until our objectives are met, especially the lifting of the Gaza blockade,” he added.
The Great Return March began on March 30, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinian demonstrators converged on the buffer zone separating Gaza from Israel.
Israel has responded to the rallies -- still held every Friday -- with deadly force, killing more than 150 protesters until now and injuring thousands more.
In reference to Egypt-backed talks aimed at reaching a Hamas-Israel truce, Haniyeh said: “We will do whatever is in the higher interest of the Palestinian people.”
“Our primary objective is ending the blockade,” he stressed.
Haniyeh went on to attribute the ongoing political deadlock between Hamas and rival Palestinian faction Fatah to “the conditions being imposed by Fatah and the leadership of the [Fatah-led] Palestinian Authority”.
He added: “Since [inter-Palestinian] reconciliation efforts are faltering, we will instead focus our endeavors on ending the blockade.” 
Haniyeh appealed for Palestinian national unity “based on the principles of partnership and respect for signed agreements”.
Fatah has recently voiced its opposition to any truce between Gaza-based resistance factions and Israel before a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal is hammered out.
In mid-August, Palestinian factions met with Egyptian officials in Cairo to discuss proposals for Hamas-Fatah reconciliation, a ceasefire with Israel, and the implementation of humanitarian projects in Gaza.
Last October, Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo that would -- if implemented -- allow the Ramallah-based Palestinian government to administer Gaza, which has been run by Hamas since 2007.
The agreement, however, has yet to come into effect due to a host of deep-seated differences -- some of them ideological -- between the two rival factions.

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