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Israel to get Hamas answer on truce Sunday
Senior Defense Ministry official Gilad to travel to Egypt, discuss lull with Intelligence Chief Suleiman
Senior Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad will be traveling to Cairo Sunday on the invitation of Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman. Gilad is expected to receive the answer of Hamas and the other Palestinian groups regarding lull efforts in the Gaza Strip and Israel's demand that Gilad Shalit's release be included in the agreement.

 

Suleiman, who earlier met with Hamas and other terror groups, is expected to convey to Gilad the Palestinian response to demands made by Israel's leaders.

 

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have conditioned a truce on a complete end to terror from the Gaza Strip, as well as an end to Hamas' military buildup and arms smuggling, among other things. However, it appears that Hamas found it most difficult to cope with the demand to advance Shalit's release.

 

'No tolerance for terror'

During Suleiman's initial talks with terror group representatives he encountered resistance to advancing Shalit's release, but Egypt kept pressing the Palestinians on the issue, prompting Palestinian groups to admit that the Shalit issue is playing a major role in the talks.

 

Meanwhile, officials in Jerusalem stressed that Israel does not intend to sign an agreement, but rather, act in accordance with developments in the Gaza Strip and end IDF operations should terror attacks and the Palestinian military buildup come to a halt.

 

The officials made it clear that Israel would not tolerate ongoing terror activity and would resort to military operations in order to defeat Hamas and other groups that launch rockets at Israel.

 

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