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    Hamas negotiators leave Egypt with no agreement on Israeli truce

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    Hamas left the latest round of talks in Cairo on a lasting Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire with no agreement in place, the militant Palestinian movement said on its website on Thursday.

    CAIRO, February 5 (RIA Novosti) - Hamas left the latest round of talks in Cairo on a lasting Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire with no agreement in place, the militant Palestinian movement said on its website on Thursday.

    According to the announcement, the failure to reach an agreement was "because of Israel's stubbornness in lifting the blockade of the Gaza Strip and opening the border crossings."

    According to senior Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, Israel has put forward unacceptable conditions and used fuzzy wording that it can later alter in its own interests. "This is why the talks have not produced any results," he said.

    The Hamas delegation completed its talks with Egyptian mediators on Wednesday and left for Damascus to continue consultations with Syria's administration and other Palestinian supporters. During talks in Cairo, the issues of a long-term truce and the removal of the economic blockade in the Gaza Strip were discussed, as well as inter-Palestinian reconciliation and the rebuilding of the enclave.

    According to Egyptian mediators, the Hamas delegation will return to Cairo on Saturday.

    The Egyptian foreign minister said last week that significant progress was being made in talks with Palestinian groups and a long-term peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis could be achieved in early February.

    Amos Gilad, the head of military policy and security for Israel's Defense Ministry, was to arrive on Thursday for talks with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. It is expected that Gilad will respond to the Palestinians' demands on the terms of a ceasefire.

    More than 1,300 Palestinians were killed during Israel's three-week military operation in Gaza, which was aimed at stopping rocket and mortar fire into southern Israel from Palestinian territory.

    Each side announced a ceasefire on January 18, but violence has recently flared up on the Israeli-Gaza border.

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