Abbas Hails Gaza 'Truce' Efforts

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CBNNews.com - RAMALLAH, West Bank - Following a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas said he supports a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.

"The truce is a national interest of all Palestinians," Abbas told reporters after Sunday's meeting. "A truce will alleviate the suffering of our people and pave the way for the reopening of the border crossings ," said the PA leader.

Meanwhile, in a weekend interview broadcast on al-Jazeera, exiled Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal clarified his group's perception of the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire with Israel.

"It is a tactic in conducting the struggle," Mashaal said. "It is normal for any resistance that operates in its people's interest to sometimes escalate and other times retreat a bit. The battle is to be run this way, and Hamas is known for that," he said.

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar said if Israel rejects the truce, it's tantamount to a declaration of war.

"Hamas is ready for this option and all other options," al-Zahar said. "A mutual truce is in the interests of the parties, including Israel," he said.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, YNet news

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