Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Monday that Israel is prepared to reach a truce with the Hamas-run Gaza Strip but through Egyptian mediation, a government spokesman said.
Abbas made his remarks at a cabinet meeting in Ramallah the day after his second meeting in a week with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem.
“The meeting (with Olmert) focused on a truce, the means of applying it and imposing security,” said Palestinian government spokesman Riyad al-Malki, according to AFP.
Abbas spoke “about Israeli conditions and claimed that Olmert showed he was ready for a truce with the Egyptians as intermediary,” Malki said.
The Palestinian leader said Israel’s conditions for a Gaza Strip truce included “a halt to all rocket attacks, respect for the truce by all (Palestinian) factions and an end to contraband” between Gaza and Egypt, Malki conveyed. Abbas stressed that Israel would sign an accord with the Egyptians and not Hamas, the spokesman said.
Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat has been dispatched to Egypt and Jordan to pursue the truce negotiations.
After the cabinet meeting, Abbas told the media that “efforts are increasing with the Egyptians to reach a truce” in the Gaza Strip.