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Hamas threatens 'long war' if Israel refuses Palestinian demands

Negotiations in Egypt between Palestinian and Israeli representatives cooled today, as Hamas rejected what it says are insufficient offers toward compromise, Reuters reports.

"Israel must accept the demands of the Palestinian people or face a long war," Osama Hamdan, head of Hamas' foreign affairs, wrote on Facebook.

A 72-hour ceasefire between the two sides ends on Monday night, and while Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed to meet — separately, as neither side recognizes the other — with Egyptian mediators again on Sunday, the lack of progress points to the possibility of renewed fighting. Hamas demands an end to an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on the Gaza Strip, but Israel has shown little interest in conceding such a stand. For its part, Israel requires a disarmament of Hamas as part of any long-term agreement, which Gaza's Islamist group refuses to consider.

The United Nations says the Gaza offensive has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians — most of whom were civilians — so far. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and three Israeli civilians have also died in the fighting.