Uncertainties over Gaza truce proposals

May 21st, 2008 - 3:21 pm ICT by admin  

Cairo/Tel Aviv, May 21 (DPA) Uncertainties remain over a proposed truce between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas after the Israeli government refused Wednesday to confirm or deny Egyptian statements that it had accepted in principle Cairo’s proposals. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s spokesman Mark Regev said the truce had not yet been finalized.

“The process is still ongoing. It is still work in progress,” he told DPA. “We are continuing our dialogue with Egypt.”

But in Cairo, an Egyptian official told the state news agency MENA Tuesday that Israel had expressed its support and understanding for the Egyptian proposals to end hostilities in the Gaza Strip.

Those proposals include moves to be taken by both Hamas and Israel concurrently to end hostilities.

Israel has agreed to implement the proposals as soon as the leadership of the Palestinian factions approve various points in the Egyptian proposals, the official said.

Israel has also asked that its soldier, Gilad Shalit, be released by Hamas as part of an exchange of prisoners with the Palestinians and restoring stability on its border with the Gaza Strip, according to the official.

On Monday, Israel’s defence minister Ehurd Barak had delivered Israel’s response to the truce proposal.

On Tuesday, a Hamas delegation had met Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman to discuss Israel’s response.

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