Reports: Hamas opposes comprehensive cease-fire offer in Cairo talks
Palestinians debated truce proposals on Friday, but Hamas reportedly was resisting a comprehensive cease-fire and holding out instead for a limited plan to halt attacks only inside Israel.
No truce was likely to take hold without the endorsement of Hamas, which along with the smaller Islamic Jihad has carried out most of the suicide bombing attacks against Israelis since September 2000.
About a dozen Palestinian factions held a second day of meetings Friday. Talks centered on the political implications of a truce, said Maher Taher, a senior official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Groups presented their views in a morning session, then broke up for Friday Muslim prayers and planned to meet again in the afternoon, he said.
Hamas appeared to be against a comprehensive truce. "The maximum that Hamas could give this time is an initiative to spare civilians the conflict," said one official close to the group, according to The AP. "Apart from this, it is not possible," he added.
"The talks are taking place in a positive atmosphere and no problems surfaced during the adoption of the points on the agenda," according to a Hamas delegate, speaking to AFP. "Imposing no veto on the questions submitted and tackling them with an open mind is the policy toward the talks that the (Hamas) movement has adoped," the delegate said.
Egyptian Intelligence Chief Gen. Omar Suleiman opened the talks on Thursday, saying political conditions are ripe for a cease-fire and urging the factions to give the Palestinian Authority full authority to negotiate terms of the truce with Israel.
- Hamas drafting terms for temporary cease-fire with Israel
- Israel rejects partial Palestinian truce offer
- Palestinian PM leaves Cairo after truce talks ''fail''
- Hamas, Islamic Jihad reject Egyptian proposal to stop attacks against Israelis
- Palestinian factions deny Israel DM reports on agreement to about one month of truce