Hamas says indirect cease-fire talks with Israel halted

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza’s Hamas rulers say their indirect cease-fire talks with Israel have halted.

Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri on Sunday blamed the impasse on the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, which has voiced its strong opposition to the talks.

Abu Zuhri said that in response, his Islamic militant group is escalating its protests in new locations along Gaza’s borders with Israel.

Hamas has led weekly protests since March, demanding in large part an end to the decade-long Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has crippled Gaza since Hamas assumed control of the coastal strip.

Israeli military fire has killed 135 Palestinians at the protests and wounded thousands. An Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper last month.

Egypt and the United Nations have been working to mediate to avoid another large-scale round of violence.

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