Hamas leader ties truce to end of Gaza blockade

Photo: Hamas leader ties truce to end of Gaza blockade / Arab-Israel Relations

The leader of Islamic militant group Hamas has said there can be no truce to ease the conflict in Gaza without an end to Israel's economic blockade, BBC reported.

Khaled Meshaal said Hamas would continue to reject a ceasefire until its conditions were met.

His comments come amid further Israeli air strikes and ground operations in Gaza.

Israel launched its military offensive on 8 July with the declared objective of stopping rocket fire from Gaza.

At least 649 Palestinians and 31 Israelis have been killed in the past 15 days of fighting, officials say.

Earlier, the UN's top human rights official, Navi Pillay, condemned Israel's military actions in Gaza.

She also condemned Hamas for "indiscriminate attacks" on Israel.

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