CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - On Monday, senior members of the Hamas terror organization traveled to Cairo to meet with Egyptian Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.
Leading the delegation were Gaza-based Mahmoud al-Zahar and Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook.
Al-Zahar, co-founder of Hamas, is considered one of the group's most ardent supporters of terror attacks, while Marzook, with not less than seven aliases, is labeled a "specially designated global terrorist" by the U.S. Treasury Department.
Meanwhile in Lebanon, Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan said the Egyptian-brokered tahdiyah [temporary calm] would not affect the group's "resistance operations," i.e., terror attacks, against Israel.
"The confrontation with the [Israeli] occupation will continue despite the talk about a tahdiyah," said Hamden, who categorically rejects the Jewish historical connection to Israel and has no qualms about the group's objective to wipe Israel off the map.
Hamas officials have warned that if Israel does not accept the temporary cease-fire, the consequences will be devastating.
"The Israelis appear to be confused about the tahdiyah," said Ismail Radwan, another senior member of the group.
"Some Israelis are calling for accepting the tahdiyah, while others are talking about invading the Gaza Strip. But we are prepared for all possibilities, regardless of whether Israel says yes or no. If we are forced to fight, we will enter the battle," he said.
On Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Suleiman at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Barak presented the Egyptian mediators with a two-tiered approach to the temporary truce: first, cease terrorist activities and Israel will call a halt to its counter-terror operations in Gaza; and second, Israel will open border crossings into the Strip in exchange for the release of kidnapped Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Corporal Gilad Shalit.
While Israel said there will be no cease-fire without Shalit's release, Hamas says his release isn't part of the deal.
"Hamas is different from other Palestinian parties, which are used to making free concessions to Israel," Hamdan said, adding that they would not "succumb" to Israel's inclusion of Shalit on the truce.
"We won't surrender to Israeli extortion," he said.
The question some are asking is will Israel surrender to the terrorists' extortion.
Sources: The Jerusalem Post, YNet news, Haaretz