Egypt holds parleys to renew truce in Gaza

December 20th, 2008 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramallah, Dec 20 (Xinhua) The Egyptian leadership has launched intensive talks to renew a truce between Israel and Palestine in the Gaza Strip, a senior Fatah movement official said Saturday. The truce ended Friday.Azzam el-Ahmed, head of the Fatah movement in the Palestinain parliament, said that Egypt has launched intensive talks with all parties concerned to renew the ceasefire agreement.

Earlier, the Islamist Hamas group, which controls the coastal strip, said it was unilaterally ending the ceasefire.

“I expect that the truce with Israel will be renewed within the next few days,” el-Ahmed said.

Egypt had brokered a truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip which came into effect June 19.

El-Ahmed, however, denied in media statements that the truce was over.

Meanwhile Hamas leader in Gaza, Atef Odwan, said in a statement that there was a possibility of renewing the truce with Israel in Gaza.

“The renewal of the truce should be agreed upon through a fair mediator even if this mediator is an European,” Odwan said.

Hamas led militant groups want Israel to completely lift the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, including Rafah crossing bordering Egypt, before it ends rocket attacks on the Israelis.

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