Israel rejects partial Palestinian truce offer
Israel has rejected an agreement by Palestinians meeting in Cairo to halt attacks in Israel without also agreeing to stop attacks on Israeli troops or settlers, a senior official told Reuters.
The 13 Palestinian factions meeting for talks in Cairo reached on Saturday an agreement in principle regarding the cease-fire with Israel, but were continuing negotiations on the details of this agreement.
Hamas spokesmen said that the factions oppose a comprehensive cease-fire, but would agree to discuss a halt to attacks against civilians within Israel. Hamas officials said the Movement had agreed on its position with four other factions - Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Al-Saika and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command (FPLP-GC) - and would only consider freezing attacks on Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip if Israel stopped all attacks on Palestinians first.
These groups rejected a one-year truce proposed by Egypt on the grounds that Israel offered nothing in return.
Six groups -- Fatah, FIDA, the Palestinian Liberation Front, the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front, the People's Party and the Arab Liberation Front -- support a one-year conditional truce.
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) has put forward a one-year ceasefire plan under international supervision, based on six conditions.
Sakher Bessissou, an official from Fatah warned that the discussions had now "hit stalemate". According to AFP, his comments came after Zakaria al-Agha, also representing Fatah, stormed out of the talks Friday night, denouncing what he said was the inflexibility of the five groups.
"If you reject a truce, we might as well stop this round" of talks, Agha said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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