UK's Hammond urges Hamas to accept humanitarian truce
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Thursday called on Hamas to accept an unconditional humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza as the death toll in the 17-day conflict with Israel topped 770.
Hammond spoke at a news conference in Cairo after meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, whose government has pushed for a truce in the neighbouring Palestinian enclave.
"Hamas must agree to a humanitarian ceasefire without preconditions for the sake of the people of Gaza," Hammond said, pledging five million pounds Sterling (around 6.3 million euros, $8.4 million) in aid.
The Islamist Hamas, which controls the impoverished Gaza Strip, has rejected a ceasefire proposal by Egypt, instead demanding a comprehensive agreement before it agrees to a truce.
Hamas's chief Khaled Meshaal insisted on Wednesday on a ceasefire only after Israel ends its eight-year siege of the territory.
The 17-day conflict has killed more than 770 Palestinians, many of them civilians.
Israel, which initially accepted a truce, has said it will keep up its military campaign aimed at eliminating tunnels Gaza militants have used in attacks.
© 2014 AFP