April 22, 2008
The Guardian

Hamas Ready to Accept Gaza Truce

by Mark Tran

Hamas said today it is prepared to accept a partial truce that would cover only the Gaza Strip, in an apparent softening of the Islamist group's position.

Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas spokesman, said the proposal had been relayed to Egyptian mediators. The apparent shift in Hamas's position came amid reports that Egypt has brokered a preliminary agreement on a truce between the group and Israel.

In the past, Hamas has demanded that the West Bank - which is under the control of its Fatah rivals - be part of any deal. In return, Hamas wants Israel and Egypt to open their border crossings with Gaza. Israel and Egypt have both largely sealed their borders with the territory since Hamas wrested control from Fatah last June.

Israeli sources credit the turnabout in Hamas's position to the economic and military pressure on Gaza, the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz reported. It said senior Israeli officials had noted a change in Hamas positions in recent days, at least in seeking a lull in fighting in Gaza. But Israel has yet to commit itself officially to a ceasefire and is waiting for a detailed proposal to be delivered via Egypt. . . .


Stephen Lendman, "Forty Years Of Israeli Occupation,", May 23, 2007

Shawn Pogatchnik, "Carter Blasts US Policy on Palestinians," Associated Press, June 20, 2007

Allegra Stratton, "Israel rejects Gaza ceasefire," Guardian, April 25, 2008

Bassem Naeem, "Hamas condemns the Holocaust," Guardian, May 12, 2008

[The Israeli government officially recognized a precursor to Hamas called Mujama Al-Islamiya, registering the group as a charity. It allowed Mujama members to set up an Islamic university and build mosques, clubs and schools.--Andrew Higgins, "How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas," Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2008]

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