JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas will not renew its truce with Israel when it expires next week, according to a statement from the terrorist group.
"There will be no renewal of the calm after it expires," the statement quoted Hamas’ leader Khaled Mashaal, who is exiled in Syria, as telling a Hamas television station, Reuters reported Sunday.
A Hamas official in the Gaza Strip told Reuters that the 6-month-old truce agreement between Hamas and Israel will not be renewed automatically when it expires Dec. 19, and that Israel must commit to living up to the agreement’s conditions.
The Israeli news site Ynet quoted a diplomatic source in Jerusalem as saying in response, "If there is fire from the other side, it will not be one-sided."
Some 200 Kassam rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza on Israel in the last month.
Also Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak sent an envoy to Cairo for talks on extending the cease-fire.