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No preconditions to Israeli ceasefire: Hamas

world Updated: Jan 17, 2009 11:24 IST
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The head of militant Palestinian organisation Hamas' political bureau in Damascus, Khaled Meshaal, has said that the group will not accept any preconditions to a ceasefire by Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Meshaal was speaking on Friday before a meeting of Arab leaders in Qatar, adding that the Palestinian movement in Gaza "had not suffered a defeat", and that they would therefore not accept any preconditions of the opponent.

Israeli negotiator Amos Gilad returned to Cairo on Friday to discuss elements of a ceasefire plan with the Egyptian government, who are mediating between Israel and Hamas, that would be acceptable to both parties.

In Qatar, Meshaal said that the most important elements of any ceasefire would be: the end of attacks in Gaza; withdrawal of Israeli troops from the salient; the lifting of the economic blockade and the re-opening of the border crossing points between Egypt and Gaza.