Hamas commander says his soldiers ‘eager for death’

Hamas commander says his soldiers ‘eager for death’

PanARMENIAN.Net - A reclusive Hamas commander has rejected suggestions the Palestinian militants are ready for a ceasefire with Israel to end violence in Gaza, BBC News reports.

In an audio recording, Mohammad Deif, commander of Hamas' military wing, said his soldiers were "eager for death".

Fighting continued into the early hours of Wednesday , July 30, with at least 32 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire overnight, Gaza health officials said.

At least 1,200 Palestinians and 55 Israelis have been killed since 8 July.

Early on Wednesday, shelling on a UN school in Gaza's Jabaliya refugee camp killed at least 15, medical sources said.

Most of Palestinian deaths have been civilians, and 6,700 have been injured, according to the Gaza health ministry. Israel has seen 53 of its soldiers die in the conflict with militant group Hamas. Two civilians and a Thai worker in Israel have also died.

Palestinian factions are expected to meet in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss a possible humanitarian ceasefire. Egyptian mediators are reportedly revising an earlier truce proposal that was accepted by Israel but not Hamas.

As international pressure for a ceasefire grows, Israel and Hamas have each reiterated their positions and aims, the BBC says.

"We don't accept any condition of ceasefire," the Associated Press quoted Hamas commander Mohammad Deif as saying. "There is no ceasefire without the stop of the aggression and the end of the siege."

Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza and restricted the entry of goods since 2007.

The recording of Mohammad Deif's statement emerged at the same time as a Hamas video of militants using a tunnel to attack an Israeli soldier.

Israel insists the existence of such tunnels, dug by militants to infiltrate Israel, are the key reason for pressing ahead with Operation Protective Edge.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) want to continue operations to destroy the tunnels once any ceasefire is agreed.

On Tuesday, more than 100 Palestinians were killed by Israeli air strikes, Gaza officials said.

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