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Hamas Says it Will Not Disarm

Although the cease-fire reached last week between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip held over the weekend, there were signs that the negotiations in Cairo that are scheduled to start one month after the cease-fire took hold will not be easy. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that any attempts to disarm Palestinian “resistance groups” in Gaza are “worthless” and that the people will not allow it. A demilitarized Gaza is one of Israel’s key demands after Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel over the seven weeks of fighting. Hamas is also demanding an international airport and seaport to end dependence upon Israel and Egypt for an exit from Gaza. Meanwhile, an Israeli soldier who was wounded during a rocket attack last week died of his wounds, becoming the 71st Israeli casualty. More than 2,200 Palestinians also died during the fighting, and there continues to be controversy over how many of them were civilians.