CAIRO (Reuters) – The exiled leader of the Palestinian group Hamas said on Monday Israel must take the first step if it wants a truce in the conflict in Gaza.
“Whoever started the war must end it,” Khaled Meshaal told a news conference in Cairo.
Meshaal also said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had requested a ceasefire – an assertion the Jewish state immediately denied.
Israel bombed dozens of targets in Gaza on Monday for a sixth day on Monday, but mediator Egypt said a deal to end the fighting could be close.
Meshaal said Hamas did not want an escalation or to draw Israel into a land invasion. But he said Israel had failed to achieve its objectives in Gaza.
“The weapons of the resistance have caught the enemy off guard,” he said.
(Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Angus MacSwan)