Hamas not willing to declare truce at this stage
Hamas ruled out any formal halt to anti-Israeli attacks as long as the Jewish state continues to "deceive and procrastinate". "Nothing encourages us to declare a truce while Israel continues to procrastinate and its policies of deception," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP on Wednesday.
Palestinian national security advisor Jibril Rajub had earlier said all armed groups were ready to observe a ceasefire.
"The statements made by Jibril Rajub are not exact. He was speaking in his name and the name of Fatah and he has no right to speak on behalf of all the factions," Abu Zuhri noted.
Palestinian factions are set to meet in Cairo on March 15. "We are going to listen to the proposals put forward in Cairo and decide on our position as a result," added Abu Zuhri.
But he stressed that Hamas would refuse to declare a ceasefire "if Israel does not respect the conditions tabled by the Palestinian factions, chiefly on the release of Palestinian prisoners".
- Fire exchanges continue as Hamas, Israel declare readiness for ceasefire
- Hamas considers cabinet participation as date for election yet to be decided
- Israel rejects ceasefire, accuses Hamas of violations
- Palestinian talks in Cairo: Arafat calls to declare truce with Israel, Hamas wants to intensify resistance
- Hamas slams Bush