Hamas, Islamic Jihad reject Egyptian proposal to stop attacks against Israelis
An Egyptian attempt to halt Palestinian attacks on Israelis for a year fell apart Monday in a disagreement over where that cease-fire would be implemented, a delegate said.
Two main groups, Islamic Jihad and Hamas, vowed "no freezing of resistance" unless Israel stopped all attacks against Palestinians and pulled out of Palestinian territory.
"As long as there is occupation, there is resistance," Islamic Jihad delegate Ziyad Nikhla said, according to AP. "This is a natural law."
Twelve Palestinian factions opened talks in Cairo Friday under Egyptian auspices with the declared aim of "reaching a unified strategy on the future of struggle with Israel."
"There will be no halt, no truce and no freezing of resistance," Osama Hamdan, a Hamas delegate to the talks, conveyed.
Nikhla and Hamdan said their groups also rejected an offer from Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to join the Palestine Liberation Organization as a first step toward joining his Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza.
They said the groups suggested instead a new leadership that will oversee "the struggle with Israel."
Ahmed Ghoneim, a senior Fatah delegate to the talks, acknowledged the meeting fell short of hopes. "I would say that it did not achieve its goals. But I would not say that it failed," he said.
Ghoneim said the main point of disagreement was over the issue of where a cease-fire would take effect. There were three opinions, he said:
* All attacks should stop everywhere;
* Attacks should stop in Israel proper but continue in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip; or
* Attacks would stop in Israel proper and land occupied in 1967 if Israel stopped all attacks against Palestinians. Hamas and Islamic Jihad upheld this position. (Albawaba.com)