Abu Mazen meets Hamas leaders
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) met Thursday with Hamas in the Gaza strip. A Hamas spokesman, Ismail Hanieh, said the Abbas-Hamas meeting was held following a request by Abbas asked for the meeting, Hanieh added.
After a 90-minute meeting, Hamas indicated that it would be willing to start a limited truce with Israel, but conditioned it on an end to Israeli assassinations of Palestinian activists.
Hanieh suggested that the truce would involve a halt in attacks on civilians inside Israel, but not settlers and soldiers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as long as Israel continues with its policy of assassinations.
Speaking to Al Bawaba, Dr. Mahmoud al Zahar, a senior leader of Hamas'political wing, who attended the meeting, quoted Abbas as saying he would not act to collect the weapons of Hamas members. According to al Zahar, Abu Mazen pledged not to arrest Hamas operatives.
In the past, Abbas said he would try to convince Hamas to stop carrying out attacks against Israel. Stopping the violence is a demand spelled out in the first phase of an internationally backed "road map" to peace between the Palestinians and Israel.
Meanwhile, a 12-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire Thursday morning in the village of Yamun, near the West Bank city of Jenin, Palestinian sources said. The boy was shot during clashes between youths and occupation troops in the village, the source said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)