Hamas says no ceasefire deal yet

April 22nd, 2008 - 4:32 pm ICT by admin  

Gaza, April 22 (Xinhua) A spokesman for the Islamic Hamas movement said Tuesday a deal on a ceasefire between Palestinian militant groups and Israel has not yet been reached. The Egyptian Al-Ahram daily had earlier reported that Egypt and Hamas agreed on a ceasefire and that the intelligence chief of Egypt Omar Suleiman was expected to visit Israel soon to present the main points of the deal.

“The report is inaccurate. Hamas still waits for an answer (from Israel) to a truce offer presented earlier (by Egypt) to the movement,” Ismail Radwan, Hamas movement’s spokesman in Gaza, told reporters.

A Hamas delegation held talks this week in Egypt with Suleiman and other senior security officials on reaching a ceasefire with Israel, ending a ten-month blockade imposed on Gaza and reopening Gaza border crossings.

“We can’t say that there is an agreement on ceasefire before seeing a commitment to implement the agreement. The problem is with the Zionist side, and so far, I can’t say that there is (Israeli) equanimity,” said Radwan.

He added that the Palestinian side had said any ceasefire agreement with Israel “should be comprehensive, mutual and synchronous and guarantee a complete lifting of the blockade and reopening of the border crossings.”

Following a meeting with Hamas chief in Syria Khaled Meshaal, former US president Jimmy Carter stated that the Hamas movement would accept a temporary ceasefire with Israel that would end the blockade and open the border crossings.

“This is untrue. Mr. Meshaal informed Mr. Carter in their meeting that Hamas is holding contacts with the Egyptians to clarify its position concerning the issue of the ceasefire,” said Radwan.

Ahmed Yousef, a foreign affairs official and former aide to Hamas premier Ismail Haneya, said Monday the ceasefire deal between the Islamic movement and Israel was “imminent.”

He said the Egyptian-mediated state of calmness is “at two bow’s length from happening” and Hamas is expecting a real development in this regard in the coming few days.

He said Hamas had sent its proposals to Israel and was now awaiting a response.

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