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Zionists should seek shelter, if mediation for lifting Gaza blockade fails : Top Hamas official

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Mushir al-Masry, a spokesman for the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement (File photo)

A high-ranking official with the Palestinian Islamic Resistance movement, Hamas, has warned against the failure of mediation efforts aimed at ending the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip, emphasizing that if such efforts fail, Israel's authorities and settlers will have to look for shelter.

“The failure of mediators' efforts to lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip means that the Zionist enemy and Zionist settlers will have to experience a life under siege in their shelters,” Arabic-language Quds Press news agency quoted Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masry as saying in a televised interview on Sunday evening.

He added, “Palestinian factions do not accept that the residents of the Gaza Strip be subjected to gradual death as a result of the continued [Israeli] siege and aggression.”

“We have nothing to lose, and the enemy's effort to exploit the humanitarian situation [in Gaza] and the coronavirus pandemic to advance its own policies and extend the blockade imposed on our Palestinian nation will not succeed,” Masry highlighted.

The top Hamas official further noted, “The occupying regime refrains from responding to the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people to lift the siege. However, our nation and the resistance front have decided to continue their endeavor to have the siege of Gaza lifted.”

“We will go to great lengths [in the effort to end the blockade of Gaza] and all options are on the table. The Zionist regime will be responsible for all the dangerous consequences of this issue,” Masry said.

On Sunday, Ismail Haniyeh, head of the political bureau of Hamas, stated that his resistance movement will continue to make efforts to end all forms of siege on the Gaza Strip.

Haniyeh said in a statement that “Hamas and the people in Gaza are determined to confront the unjust blockade until it is removed completely.”

“The Hamas leadership is keenly following the current situation in the Gaza Strip as well as the contacts and efforts being made by many parties to end the siege on the strip,” the Hamas leader stated.

Haniyeh also expressed confidence in the mediation efforts being made by Egypt and Qatar to end the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli land, air and sea blockade since June 2007, after Hamas, which has vowed to resist Israeli occupation, rose to power in the enclave.

Since imposing the siege, Israel has also waged three wholesale wars against Gaza, killing thousands of Palestinians in each.

The crippling blockade has caused a sharp decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty in the strip.

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