Israeli minister not ruling out Haniyeh offer to reach cease-fire
An Israeli cabinet minister said Wednesday that Israel would accept "mediation" with the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip in a bid to stop rocket fire from the area. The remark by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz appeared to be the first indication that the Israeli government would consider talking to Hamas.
Israel will not stop its airstrikes against the group and other gunmen that are involved in the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, Mofaz said, according to the AP. "Mediation is something we can think about but one thing needs to be clear," Mofaz told Army Radio. "This subject is the responsibility of Hamas and the terror groups and as long as these firings and terror from inside the strip won't stop we must continue this policy and not stop for even one hour."
Mofaz was reacting to an invitation by Gaza Strip's Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, to open negotiations. Haniyeh on Tuesday called to an Israeli TV reporter and told him that he is prepared to negotiate an end to the rocket attacks and Israeli attacks.