After getting pummeled by the IDF, Hamas is crying for a cease fire but still refuses to recognize Israel.
GAZA CITY, Gaza City – On Islam’s most important holiday, the leader of Gaza’s Hamas government appealed Wednesday for a cease-fire with Israel and said his people — battered by Israeli military strikes and international sanctions — are greeting this year’s feast with “tears in our eyes.”
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s spokesman said there could be no deals with Hamas until it renounces violence and recognizes Israel, though one Cabinet minister said Israel might consider outside mediation with the Islamic militants.
Israel and Hamas have never had direct contacts because of the group’s violently anti-Israel ideology. But they have agreed to short truces negotiated by third parties.
The appeal from Ismail Haniyeh, who heads the Hamas government in Gaza, came in a phone call to an Israeli TV reporter, said Hamas spokesman Taher Nunu. It followed a two-day air assault by Israeli forces that killed 12 Gaza militants, two from Hamas and 10 from Islamic Jihad.