The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

Hamas still talks on Gaza ceasefire as dead cross 1,000

Palestinian childrenAn Israeli envoy will meet Egyptian mediators in Cairo on Thursday after a Hamas delegation concluded talks on an Egyptian truce proposal by repeating their demand that Israel withdraw its troops and lift a long-standing blockade on the enclave.

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, a former EU envoy to the Middle East, told reporters in the West Bank: “My perception is we are very close to reaching a ceasefire. They are very close but still there is some work to be done.”

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In Cairo, Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil said: “The movement has presented a detailed vision to the Egyptian leadership so it can continue its pursuit to end the aggression and lift the injustice on our people in the Gaza Strip.”

He declined to give details but said Hamas would not drop its demands for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip and the permanent opening of all trade routes.

Arab diplomats say Hamas is reluctant to accept a long-term ceasefire agreement right away. Israel, which wants an end to rocket attacks on its towns and guarantees that Hamas cannot smuggle in more weapons through Egypt, said it would not agree to a truce that allowed the Islamists to regroup and rearm.

“Israel seeks a durable quiet that contains a total absence of hostile fire from Gaza into Israel and a working mechanism to prevent Hamas from rearming,” said Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Releasing new figures, the Hamas-run Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip said 1,018 Palestinians had been killed and 4,700 wounded by Israeli forces so far.

The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights said more than 670 civilians were among the dead. Ten Israeli soldiers and three civilians hit by rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have been killed since Israel launched its campaign on December 27.

Source: Reuters

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