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Israel threatens to target Hamas leadership


08-13-2014 19:44 BJT

Israel’s foreign minister says Hamas must be deposed in order to make any progress towards a settlement regarding Gaza. Avigdor Lieberman also added that the Islamic Resistance Movement must return the bodies of Israeli soldiers or its leadership will be targeted.

"Israel must not end this operation without the return of the soldiers’ bodies. And if the terrorists on the other side do not accept this, do not understand this and not willing under this or that arrangement to return the soldiers’ bodies, they must understand that they will get back the bodies of Mohammed Deif, Haniyeh and the entire leadership of Hamas in the Gaza Strip." said Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli Foreign Minister.

Israel says Hamas is in possession of the remains of two soldiers, who were killed during the recent fighting in Gaza. On Wednesday, with a 72-hour ceasefire approaching its end, Israeli tanks and soldiers were deployed near Gaza’s border. 

Meanwhile indirect talks in Cairo between Israelis and Palestinians on ending the conflict showed no signs of a breakthrough. Israel has resisted lifting the economically stifling blockade on Gaza, arguing Hamas will restock with weapons from abroad if access to the coastal territory is eased. Since Israel launched its military campaign on July 8 to quell cross-border Hamas rocket fire, nearly 2,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip. Israel has lost 64 soldiers and three civilians. 

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