Hamas dismisses Arafat call to declare new ceasefire
Hamas rejected on Thursday an appeal by Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat to renew a cease-fire with Israel after it was called off following the assassination of one of its leaders last week.
“Hamas rejects the appeal (by Arafat) to resume the ceasefire as the Zionist occupation has torpedoed the truce with its assassinations of women, children and Palestinian political leaders,” Hamas political leader, Dr. Abdelaziz al Rantissi told AFP.
“We cannot speak about a truce while aggression against the Palestinian people continues.”
Arafat said in a statement Wednesday that a renewal of the truce would “give a chance to all peaceful international efforts for the implementation of the roadmap.”
Palestinian prime minister Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen) broke off all contact with the Islamic groups in the wake of a recent suicide bombing attack in Jerusalem. Dr. Rantissi said that Hamas was “ready to talk” with Abbas.
“We are in favour of dialogue but it is impossible to make progress in a situation which is extremely dangerous,” he added.
Meanwhile, the White House also criticized Arafat, describing him as an obstacle to peace and reiterated a United States position that Palestinian security forces must be consolidated under PA Prime Minister Abbas as a step to implementing the road map.
"Arafat has once again shown himself to be part of the problem. He is not part of the solution, and the security forces need to be consolidated under Prime Minister Abbas," White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said Wednesday.
The White House discounted Arafat's call for the armed groups to reinstate the cease-fire. "Actions to dismantle terrorist organizations and to dismantle terrorist networks are what is needed and what's most important," Buchan said. (Albawaba.com)
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