The leader of Hamas’ political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, has reiterated in an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor that his movement will not agree to a cease-fire that does not result in the lifting of the siege on Gaza. “Any initiative that doesn’t stop the aggression and end the siege on Gaza would not be acceptable to our people. That’s why the Egyptian initiative was rejected,” Meshaal told Al-Monitor in a phone interview from Doha. Since 2007, in addition to the multiple wars between 2008-2009 and 2012, Israel has maintained a land, air and sea siege on the Gaza Strip that is crippling its economy and has largely destroyed the territory’s infrastructure.
On July 15, Egypt proposed a truce, largely along the lines of the November 2012 cease-fire, that was accepted by Israel but rejected by Hamas. Meshaal criticized Egypt’s position on the current war, stating, “Egypt’s negative position toward Hamas is unwarranted.”