Hamas Offers Six-Month 'Truce'

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CBNNews.com - CAIRO - Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar said the group is prepared to offer Israel six months of quiet.

At a press conference in Cairo Thursday, al-Zahar told reporters that Hamas would cease its "hostilities" against Israel if the other armed Palestinian groups agreed.

"[The temporary truce] must be "mutual and simultaneous and the [economic] blockade must be lifted and the crossing points opened, including the Rafah border crossing [at the order with Egypt]," al-Zahar said.

Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman plans to discuss the proposed hudna (temporary truce) with Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Whether Fatah-affiliated terror groups in the Palestinian Authority, such as the al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, will want to agree to a hudna remains to be seen.

According to al-Zahar, after Suleiman's meeting Wednesday, Egypt's intelligence chief will then choose a date to begin the six-month "truce."

"The ball is in Israel's court now," al-Zahar declared. "We retain the right to use 'any means necessary' to bring an end to the 'siege.' We will not accept anything less that the full reopening of the [border] crossings. We want life in Gaza to return to the way it was before [Hamas' bloody military coup in June 2007]," al-Zahar said.

Israel called for a complete cessation of terror attacks by Hamas, including rocket and mortar shell attacks, and an end to weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip.

Israeli UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman said a hudna would give Hamas and the other terror groups time to regroup and build their resources before renewing attacks.

"We don't think Hamas is trustworthy," Gillerman said. "Whenever they offer a truce, it is because we have been able to hit them where it really hurts and then they need time to regroup, to re-arm and be ready for the next round," the ambassador told reporters.

"We do not intend to give them that time, and we do not believe any truce offer that comes from Hamas is indeed trustworthy," he said.

Source: YNet news

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