Palestinian factions reject new truce with Israel

Updated on May 09, 2007 05:34 AM IST
The main Palestinian factions on Tuesday rejected any new truce with Israel unless the Jewish state halts military operations in the West Bank.
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AFP | By, Gaza City

The main Palestinian factions on Tuesday rejected any new truce with Israel unless the Jewish state halts military operations in the West Bank.

"Any halt in the fighting must reciprocated completely. The firing of rockets from Gaza can only be halted along with Israeli aggression in the West Bank," said a spokesman for the ruling Islamist movement Hamas, Ayman Taha.

The meeting in Gaza City was attended by representatives of Hamas, the Fatah movement of president Mahmud Abbas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (FPLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (FDLP).

According to a senior official the meeting had been called by Abbas, who did not attend, to attempt to convince the factions to commit to a new ceasefire with Israel.

"There can only be a halt to the fighting when Israel promises to stop the assassinations, the attacks, the arrests and pulls out of Palestinian cities," said the Hamas spokesman.

Islamic Jihad was not party to a November truce under which Israeli troops pulled out of Gaza in return for a commitment from militant groups to end rocket fire from the territory.

On April 24 the military wing of Hamas declared it was no longer abiding by the truce and fired a barrage of rockets against Israel, which did not claim any victims.

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