Gaza’s ruling Hamas will not stop arming itself, the No. 2 in the Palestinian group told The Associated Press on Saturday, signaling tough challenges ahead for indirect negotiations between Israel and the Islamist militants on a new border deal for Gaza.The talks are being brokered by Egypt, which also helped forge a cease-fire deal that ended eight days of Israel-Gaza fighting earlier this week.The truce went into effect late Wednesday and has largely held. Residents in Gaza said Israel has begun easing some border restrictions, allowing fishermen to head further out to sea and permitting farmers to inspect land in a former no-go zone.

Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy to Hamas’ top leader in exile Khaled Mashaal, said talks on a further easing of restrictions are to be held in Cairo on Monday. Hamas and Israel do not meet directly and the indirect talks are held through Egyptian intermediaries.

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