Hamas gives today response to mediated truce
Thursday April 24, 2008 18:03 by Rami Almeghari - IMEMC & Agencies
The ruling Hamas party in Gaza will give on Thursday its response to an Egyptian-mediated truce with Israel, the London-based aL-Hayat Arabic newspaper reported.
Sources at Hamas's leadership in Gaza said that the response will contain an agreement to a partial ceasefire declaration in the Gaza Strip, to be enforced at a later stage in the West Bank.
Hamas used to insist that any ceasefire with Israel should include the Gaza Strip and the West Bank with a complete halt of Israeli actions involving the blockade of Gaza and arrest campaigns in the West Bank, in return for halt of Qassam homemade shells fire from Gaza onto Israel.
Mahmoud aL-Zahar and Said Siyam, senior leaders of Hamas in Gaza, are expected to head for Cairo today , where they hand over a written response to the Egyptian authorities.
Al-Hayat also reported that Omar Sulieman, chief of the Egyptian intelligence service, will fly to Israel by the beginning of next week for talks with senior Israeli officials over possibility to reach a ceasefire deal with the Palestinians.
Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya, of Hamas told reporters in Gaza yesterday that the ball will be in the Israeli court after Hamas gives its response to Cairo.
Israel, from its part, has not yet announced any official response to the mediated ceasefire talks.
Recently, the Islamist Hamas party has warned of what it called an 'imminent explosion' of the situation if the Israeli blockade and actions on Gaza persist.
Since wrestling control over the coastal enclave in June2007, the Hamas party has been placed under strict Israeli closure, which Israel says is intended at stopping homemade shells , Palestinian groups, involving Hamas, continue to fire onto nearby Israeli towns.