Hamas-Israel ceasefire is at hand, source confirms
Date: 11 / 03 / 2008 Time: 10:20
Bethlehem – Ma'an –
An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Hamas and
Israel is close at hand, and its benefits can already be felt in the
current halt to hostilities in Gaza, a reliable source with knowledge of
the behind-the-scenes negotiations told Ma'an on Tuesday.
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the success of
this ceasefire is based on firm guarantees that will end weeks and
months of violence.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also announced an imminent ceasefire
between Hamas and Israel, according to which Israel will stop targeting
Hamas leaders for assassination in exchange for Hamas stopping the
launch of homemade projectiles at Israel.
However, both Hamas and Israel have publicly denied the ceasefire.
The sources said that Hamas has a clear vision for a ceasefire that
includes halting Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip and lifting
the crippling blockade, while the Egyptians propose easing the siege as
an initial step, rather than completely lifting it immediately.
Easing the siege, according to Ma'an's source, will be reopening the
Rafah crossing point in accordance with the 2005 Agreement on Movement
and Access (AMA). Egypt believes it cannot disregard the treaty, the
Hamas and other Palestinian factions had called for scrapping the AMA,
which gives Israel a degree of control at the crossing, in favor of an
arrangement that gives Palestinian and Egyptian authorities complete
At the current talks in Egypt, Hamas has expressed its consent to have
the Rafah crossing to be operated by Presidential Guards loyal to Abbas
and European monitors, as called for under the AMA.
A 'package of solutions'
The source added that Egypt proposed a package of solutions that
includes talks between Hamas and Fatah aimed at Palestinian national
reconciliation, a ceasefire with Israel, and reopening talks on the
issue of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Negotiations about Shalit had been suspended because, Palestinian
officials said, Israel refused to release long term Palestinian
However, Egypt's main concern at this stage, the source said, is the
ceasefire with Israel.
According to the source, Hamas stipulated that Egypt guarantees
protection for Hamas' leaders before ceasefire. They also preferred that
the cease fire be under international supervision.
The source also revealed that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
exerted pressure on Israel to practice self-restraint while Egypt
exerted pressure on Hamas for the same purpose. The source also stated
that Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian factions did not oppose the
This site contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance
understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic,
democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this
constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for
in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
Section 107, the material on this site is
distributed without profit to those
who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information
for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of
your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the