Israel, Hamas dig in as Gaza talks go on in Cairo
GAZA CITY, Gaza City - A senior Hamas official has told supporters at a Gaza City rally that the war with Israel won't be over until the group's political demands are met.
The official, Mushir al-Masri, said Thursday that "our fingers are on the trigger and our rockets are trained at Tel Aviv."
Al-Masri spoke as Israel and Hamas were holding indirect negotiations in Cairo about new border arrangements for blockaded Gaza and extending a ceasefire.
Hamas demands that the blockade be lifted, while Israel insists the Islamic militant group disarm first.
Al-Masri says Hamas would never consider such a demand. He says that "we are not going to relinquish them until all our lands are liberated."
Thursday's rally drew several thousand supporters, the first gathering by Hamas activists since Gaza fighting began July 8.JERUSALEM, Israel - An Israeli Cabinet minister says Israel will respond if Hamas resumes fire after a temporary three-day truce expires in the Gaza Strip.
The statement, along with Hamas' earlier threats, signals that both sides are digging in their positions as negotiations continue in Cairo on a lasting truce and reconstruction for the war-battered coastal territory.
Minister Gilad Erdan told Israel Radio on Thursday that if Hamas renews hostilities, the military will "resume operations."
The three-day truce, which helped launch talks in Cairo on new arrangements for blockaded Gaza, expires on Friday morning. Both sides are under heavy international pressure to agree to an extension of the cease-fire to allow more time for negotiations.
Hamas demands that a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt be lifted. Israel wants Gaza to be demilitarized.
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