Hamas rejects Abbas call for truce with Israel
Hamas on Thursday rejected a call by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas for a ceasefire with Israel. Hamas was quick to reject the offer with spokesman Fawzi Barhum calling it a "blackmail attempt against the Palestinian people whom (Abbas) has left to be massacred."
Abbas offered to help broker a ceasefire, his spokesman said. Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP: "President Abbas is prepared to try to work towards a mutual ceasefire with Israel to stop the daily slaughter confronting the Palestinian people in Gaza."
Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner said the government had not received the offer, but said it was up to Hamas to end the fighting. "The most simple thing is for Hamas to end its attacks against Israel and then we will not have to take measures to respond to them," he told AFP.
Also Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak vowed that "if the rocket fire from Gaza continues, we will intensify our operations and strikes against the other side, until a solution is found."