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By Amena Bakr
DOHA, July 23 Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called
on Wednesday for a temporary truce to allow humanitarian relief
into Gaza, but said his group would keep fighting against an
Israeli offensive and would not agree to a more lasting
ceasefire without full negotiation of terms.
"We are very interested to have a humanitarian truce as we
did last Thursday. We need the calm for a few hours to evacuate
the wounded and assist in the relief... This means a real truce
backed by a real relief programme offered to the people of
Gaza," he said at a news conference in Qatar.
The leader of the Islamist group, which controls Gaza, asked
for the international community to help bring medicine, fuel and
other supplies into the territory.
However, he said that any more permanent ceasefire could
only come about after Israel ended its siege, and could only be
implemented after it had been fully negotiated.
"Everyone wanted us to accept a ceasefire and then negotiate
for our rights, we reject this and we reject it again today," he
He said that despite efforts to broker a more lasting
ceasefire, there had been no breakthrough.
(Additional reporting by Sami Aboudi in Dubai; Writing by Angus
McDowall; Editing by Louise Ireland)