hamas rocket Gaza Israel
A masked member of Hamas movement carries a model of a rocket as others carry symbolic coffins with Israeli flags during a rallyReuters

Hamas has denied having held secret talks with Israel or reaching a long-term ceasefire, Ma'an News Agency has reported.

On 16 June, sources in Hamas were quoted by local media outlets as saying: "Israel and the group have been holding indirect contacts about ideas for cementing a long-term truce in Gaza."

An Israeli source had also confirmed that indirect contacts were made between the two sides. "[Talks have been held] over an easing of the blockade and the entry of materials to Gaza in exchange for quiet," the source told the agency.

However, the Hamas movement denied that it had reached a truce with the Jewish state, a member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) said on Wednesday.

Ma'an quoted Saleh Zeidan a member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) as saying: "Hamas's denial came in a meeting of Palestinian Arab factions that included Hamas, the DFLP, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and Islamic Jihad... however, Hamas must also issue an official statement affirming its denial."

He further warned that a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel would have "dangerous consequences" and that it would help Israel in "separating the Gaza Strip from the Palestinian national project".

Zeidan also claimed that the DFLP was backing the formation of a national consensus government that apart from Hamas would include all factions. He called upon the president to hold an immediate meeting to form a national unity government.

On 26 August last year, Cairo intervened and brokered a truce between Hamas and Israel, and the two sides had decided to resume indirect contacts within a month to sort out issues and impose a long-term ceasefire, but the follow-up talks never officially resumed.

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