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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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August 7th, 2014
02:54 PM ET

Spokesman: Hamas will not extend cease-fire, 'we are ready for a long war'

By CNN chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper and Kareem Khadder

Jerusalem (CNN) – The military wing of Hamas announced at 9:15 p.m. Gaza time Thursday that, unless its demands are met, the 72-hour cease-fire will be over when it expires at 8 am tomorrow morning local time.

"The resistance is ready to pay the price and the people are behind the resistance," said Abu Obaida, the masked spokesman for the Qassam Brigades, in an announcement aired on Al Aqsa television.

"We demand from the negotiating team to pull out from negotiations if the enemy continues to be stubborn; we are ready for a long war," he said.

"We demand that the negotiating team not extend negotiations without the agreement on a seaport," Obaida said, also demanding that the blockade against Gaza be lifted, and all the crossings into Egypt and Israel be opened.

"We will not accept anything less," the Hamas representative said of the group's demands. "We don't believe that our demands need negotiations, these are legitimate demands."

The Israeli government, Palestinian Authority – as well as the Egyptian government which is organizing the cease fire talks – have expressed a willingness to extend the cease-fire indefinitely and unconditionally.

More than 1,800 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli military campaign against Hamas in Gaza, including at least 900 or so civilians according to Israeli estimates, with much larger estimates of civilians deaths by the United Nations and Palestinian Health Ministry. In Israel, 64 soldiers and three civilians have been killed.

"We will make the tanks of the enemy a toy in the hands of the children of Gaza," Obaida said.

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