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Leader Of Hamas Military Wing Rules Out Quick Cease Fire

Photo by Roger Lemoyne/Getty Images

The shadowy leader of the Hamas military wing says in an audiotape that his group will not cease fire until its demands are met.

Mohammed Deif’s remarks were broadcast late Tuesday on Al-Aqsa TV, the satellite station of Hamas. Deif says “there is not going to be a cease-fire as long as the demands of our people are not fulfilled.”

Hamas has demanded that Israel and Egypt lift a border blockade they imposed on Gaza after Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

Deif’s voice was recognizable in the audio statement. He has survived repeated Israeli assassination attempts and has operated from hiding for years.

Al-Aqsa also broadcast a videotape it said showed an infiltration by Hamas fighters into Israel on Monday through a border tunnel.

Also, In the three weeks of war with Israel, residents of Gaza hadn’t seen the kind of bombardment that Israel unleashed Tuesday.

The heavy strikes came a day after Israel’s prime minister warned of a “prolonged” campaign against Hamas.

Palestinian officials say ten members of one family were among at least 100 Palestinians killed in today’s Israeli air strikes and tank shelling. Israeli warplanes carried out dozens of attacks, leveling the home of the top Hamas leader in Gaza.

Israel’s escalation of its campaign in Gaza is dealing a new blow to international efforts to reach a sustainable truce.

The only power plant in the Gaza Strip has been shut down, after Palestinian officials said it was hit by Israeli tank shells. Hours after the plant was hit, a tall column of thick black smoke was still rising from a burning fuel tank.

The shutdown is expected to lead to further serious disruptions of the flow of electricity and water to the 1.7 million people packed into the narrow Palestinian territory.

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