GAZA CITY— The Palestinian faction Hamas late on Saturday said the lifting of a blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip by Israel would contribute to bringing about a permanent ceasefire in the Palestinian territory.
"Lifting the blockade, the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and suspending the Israeli aggression on it would bring the Palestinians and the Israelis close to clinching a deal on calm," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. "The situation will be difficult without this," he added in a statement.
The Gaza Strip has been reeling under the Israeli blockade since 2006. The blockade has turned the lives of the Palestinian coastal enclave's around 1.9 million population into hell.
Apart from killing hundreds of Palestinians and injuring thousands of others, a recent Israeli offensive on the Palestinian territory had left thousands of homes and buildings in Gaza in total ruin.
The Palestinians and the Israelis are due to resume indirect talks on a long-term ceasefire in Gaza in the Egyptian capital Cairo on Sunday.
The talks follow more than a month of Israeli attacks on the Palestinian territory, attacks that had left 1961 Palestinians dead and more than 10,000 others injured.
About 64 Israeli troops were also killed in Gaza combat, while three civilians were killed by rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli data.