Israel Dismisses Hamas Truce Bid as Ruse to Recover from Fighting

[Ha'aretz] Avi Issacharoff, Amos Harel, and Yuval Azoulay - Israel dismissed on Friday a proposal by Hamas to call a conditional six-month truce in Gaza, calling it a ruse aimed at allowing the Palestinian Islamist group to recover from recent fighting. "Hamas is biding time in order to rearm and regroup. There would be no need for Israel's defensive actions if Hamas would cease and desist from committing terrorist attacks on Israelis," said David Baker, a spokesman from the Prime Minister's Office. A delegation from Hamas on Thursday told Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman that Hamas is prepared to accept a temporary cease-fire with Israel, to begin in Gaza, and then extend to the West Bank after a predetermined time. According to Hamas' proposal, Israel will cease all military activity in Gaza and, in return, Hamas will ensure an end to cross-border rocket fire at Israel or other militant operations, including arms smuggling into Gaza.

2008-04-25 01:00:00

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