Hamas official warns of no ceasefire deal if Israeli aggression on Gaza continues

Hamas official Osama Hamdan speaks during a press conference in Beirut

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Hamas official Osama Hamdan warned on Tuesday that if Israel's military aggression continues in Rafah, there will be no ceasefire deal.

Hamdan's comments were made during a press conference in Beirut as a delegation from Hamas, the group that runs the Gaza Strip, arrived in Cairo from Doha to continue ceasefire negotiations, a statement from the group said on Tuesday.

"We affirm that the military operation in Rafah, if carried out by Israel, will not be a picnic for the (Israeli) army," Hamdan said.

"The ball is in Netanyahu's court," he added, saying that the latest ceasefire proposal which Hamas agreed to "represents the minimum that responds to the demands of our people and our resistance."

Israeli forces seized the main border crossing between Egypt and southern Gaza earlier on Tuesday, shutting down a vital aid route into the Palestinian enclave that is already on the brink of famine.

"The Rafah crossing was and will remain a purely Egyptian-Palestinian crossing," Hamdan said.

(Reporting by Laila Bassam, Muhammad Al Gebaly, Writing by Adam Makary; Editing by Michael Erman)