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Report: Hamas agrees to 1-year lull

Arab media report Palestinian organization expressed its consent to PA officials taking charge of Rafah crossing in coordination with Hamas, in exchange for halting rocket fire for year starting Thursday. According to report, Israel agreed not to intervene in crossing's operation

Roee Nahmias
Published: 02.01.09, 12:44 / Israel News

The Hamas movement has accepted the Egyptian initiative for a lull and is ready to launch it this week, Palestinian sources told the al-Arabiya network on Sunday.

 

If all agreements are approved, the Rafah crossing will reopen this Thursday, and Hamas and Israel will declare a one-year truce brokered by Egypt.

 

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According to the news network, a delegation on behalf of Hamas will arrive in Egypt on Monday in order to clarify the organization's response to the overall initiative, and particularly to the clauses referring to a truce.

 

The Palestinian sources said Hamas has agreed to have Palestinian Authority forces manage the crossing, as long as the Hamas government would be able to send inspectors there and the two sides would cooperate and coordinate their activities.

 

According to the report, Israel has agreed not to intervene in the Rafah crossing's operation.

 

Hamas was expected to demand that the opening of the crossing would not be linked to the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. This issue is expected to be included in the understandings, but not as part of the official agreement.

 

Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossam Zaki refused to confirm or deny the report, saying that the results of Egypt's efforts to obtain a truce would be announced on Monday.

 

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesman of the Palestinian presidency, said Saturday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would arrive in Cairo on Monday "in light of surprising developments in the talks with Hamas".

 

Ali Waked contributed to this report

 

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