Middle East

Hamas refuses to commit to calm amid Israeli escalation

Palestinian resistance group, Hamas refused on Tuesday to commit to calm amid Israeli escalation in the occupied East Jerusalem, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“Mediators are seeking to get pledges from Hamas on avoiding escalation, but this is rejected,” Hamas spokesman, Hazem Qassem told Anadolu Agency.

“We can’t speak about calm at a time when the (Israeli) occupation is continuing its aggressive behaviour,” he added.

The Hamas spokesman said his group told mediators that “it can’t tolerate any aggression on holy sites.”

Tension has been running high across the Palestinian territories in the wake of a controversial flag march by Israeli settlers through East Jerusalem and daily settler incursions into the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex.

On Sunday, Hamas Political Chief, Ismail Haniyeh, said he refused to give guarantees to mediators regarding the situation in the Palestinian territories.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It annexed the entire city in 1980, in a move never recognised by the international community.

READ: UK considered Hamas a resistance movement, called for dialogue, documents reveal

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