Israel: Preventing Hamas from rearming - key to truce
Israel on Tuesday set a key condition for a truce in the Gaza Strip, saying it would not agree to a ceasefire unless it included provisions to prevent Hamas from rearming. "Preventing a Hamas arms buildup is the necessary foundation of any new calm arrangement. That is the make-or-break issue," said Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
According to Reuters, Regev said that was Olmert's message in talks on Monday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Regev conveyed Hamas used the previous six-month calm brokered by Cairo to double the range of its rockets from 20 km to 40 km. "Under no circumstances will we agree to a new calm that will allow them (Hamas) to increase their range to 60 km so we have rockets falling on the outskirts of Tel Aviv," Regev stresed.
Hamas has demanded a lifting of Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip as part of any ceasefire.