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Kerry: Hamas 'stubbornly' refusing ceasefire bid
Published Sunday 20/07/2014 20:18
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Fighters from Hamas run as smoke rises during an ongoing Israeli
military offensive on the Shujaiyya neighborhood between Gaza City
and the Israeli border, on July 20, 2014 (AFP Mohammed Abed)
Washington (AFP) -- US Secretary of State John Kerry Sunday blamed Hamas for the continuation of the conflict in Gaza, saying that the group was refusing all ceasefire efforts.

"They've been offered a ceasefire and they've refused to take the ceasefire," Kerry told ABC television, adding that Hamas has "stubbornly" refused efforts to defuse the conflict "even though Egypt and others have called for that ceasefire."

By its actions Hamas had "invited further actions" by the Israelis to stop the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, Kerry said.

Hamas said earlier in the week that it was not consulted on the proposed ceasefire before it was announced, implying that the offer was a ploy to justify a further expansion of the Israeli assault.

"It's ugly, obviously, war is ugly. And bad things are going to happen. But they need to recognize their own responsibility," he added, referring to Hamas.

He urged Hamas to "be responsible and accept ... a multilateral ceasefire without conditions."

More than 60 Palestinians were killed Sunday as Israeli forces pounded northern Gaza, sending thousands more fleeing in terror in the deadliest assault on the enclave in five years.

Sunday's bloody toll prompted urgent efforts by the International Committee of the Red Cross to broker a temporary ceasefire to allow paramedics to evacuate the dead and wounded in a deal accepted by both sides.

Blitzing the Sunday television talk shows, Kerry said he was planning to meet up with UN chief Ban Ki-moon who is headed to the Middle East to lend his efforts to seeking a truce.

"We're working on the idea of a ceasefire," Kerry told CNN television, adding that President Barack Obama was to speak later Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Israel is under siege by a terrorist organization that has seen fit to dig tunnels and come through those tunnels with handcuffs and tranquilizer drugs, prepared to try to capture Israeli citizens and take them back to hold them hostage," Kerry said.

"No country could sit by and not take steps to try to deal with people who are sending thousands of rockets your way."

More than 420 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's 13-day assault, while 18 Israelis -- 16 of whom were soldiers invading Gaza -- have perished.

ma'an staff contributed to this report.
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1 ) Maisie / UK
20/07/2014 20:41
How Dare You Mr. Kerry! You have ignored the lessons of history. How many decades of support of Israel's increasing horrors by bought and paid for politicians like yourself has contributed to the creation of Palestinian "terrorists"? And what of the establishment of Israel by terrorists such as the Stern Gang, Irgun and Haganah. Of course, they could be forgiven with the echo of "never again!" reminding them of the Holocaust. Ceasefire with no preconditions. HA!

2 ) AKeenReader / UK
20/07/2014 21:56
Hamas's refusal to accept cease fire is understandable condiering Israel hasn't abided with previous ones. How many UN resolutions has Israel complied with so far. Israel CANNOT be trusted neither can Egypt now. Why isn't Egypt making clear that the cease fire is one agreed in 2012 and that Gaza blockage will be finished within couple of months. We all know what happens to agree cease fire first and then yalk which never come to any conclusion especially where Israel is concerned.

3 ) Robert / US
20/07/2014 22:28
Fuck you Kerry, Fuck you!! POS

4 ) David / USA
20/07/2014 23:58
Just more proof that Hamas is more interested in killing Israelis than in protecting life in Gaza.

5 ) Hylton Fernandes / Quebec, Canada
21/07/2014 01:30
I wondered if John Kerry would have accepted a cease fire if he was living in Gaza, I strongly doubt it, he is just endorsing the Zionist agenda and the nerve of Kerry to suggest that Hamas should accept a cease fire without conditions. The U.S. Government never ceases to amaze! especially when it comes to Israel!!!!!

6 ) Deiter / Germany
21/07/2014 06:59
"No country could sit by and not take steps to try to deal with people who are sending thousands of missiles, troops, planes, and helicoptors your way." There John. Fixed it for you.

7 ) christian palestinian / usa
22/07/2014 01:36
I have lost all respect for egypt. They have been a pro-israel zionist country since 1973.

8 ) Maureen / Australia
23/07/2014 20:20
America is losing its grip on world power. The crumbling US empire is relying on the war criminal acts of its appendage in the ME to stay afloat! When the US power disappears so will its murderous little Zionist ME appendage.
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