Hamas leader to Israeli newspaper: war ‘not in our interest’

JERUSALEM (AP) — The leader of the Islamist militant group Hamas tells an Israeli newspaper that another war in the Gaza Strip is “definitely not in our interest.”

Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth published a rare interview with Yahya Sinwar on Friday in which he viewed a cease-fire with Israel as entailing “complete calm” and an end to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of Gaza. He said “through war we don’t achieve anything.”

The interview ran as Egyptian-mediated efforts to strike a cease-fire in Gaza have stalled.

Hamas has organized weekly protests on the border with Israel in part to push for an end to the blockade, imposed after the militant group seized control of Gaza in 2007.

Hamas issued a statement saying the Italian reporter misrepresented herself and didn’t say she worked for Yedioth Ahronoth.

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