Although Gaza officials are hardly in a position to bargain, the region’s Hamas terrorist rulers are already making demands.

Senior Hamas official Ismail al-Ashkar issued a statement Tuesday saying the group is demanding that Israel end its air strikes.

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Hamas also is demanding that Israel and Egypt cease their “blockade” on the region – a reference to the border crossings, which are opened and closed by each country depending upon the security situation at the time.

Al-Ashkar said the group would not agree to a cease fire “until aggressions against Gaza end.” However, Israel has not suggested it has any intention of requesting a cease fire, particularly since the rocket fire has escalated rather than over the past day.

Low-level Hamas spokesmen are making the statements for the group at this point inasmuch as all of the Hamas leadership has headed underground to safety in hopes of hiding from Israeli air strikes. The IDF has made it clear that in Operation Protective Edge, the first goal will be to aim for the Hamas leadership in targeted assassinations.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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