Palestinian factions meet in Egypt without Hamas, Fatah

Other News Materials 29 April 2008 15:53 (UTC +04:00)

Palestinian factions met Tuesday in Cairo without the largest Hamas and Fatah movements to discuss proposals to de- escalate the situation in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources said.

The Democratic Front, Popular Front and Islamic Jihad plan to discuss with Egyptian leaders a Hamas-proposed truce with Israel, Palestinian sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Hamas would be waiting in Gaza for the outcome of the Egyptian- Palestinian talks, the sources said.

Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman plans to meet Israeli leaders next week in Israel to negotiate the end results of the talks in Egypt.

Earlier, a spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, Abu-Mujahid, told dpa that there was a Palestinian consensus about a mutual, comprehensive ceasefire rather than one limited to the Gaza Strip.

Abu-Mujahid said any truce should be accompanied by an end to Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, a halt to all military operations and the opening of the border crossings.

Hamas is widely expected to accept a proposed truce with Israel that would take effect only in the Gaza Strip, thus dropping a demand that the ceasefire be extended to the West Bank as well, according to Palestinian sources close to the group.

Hamas has previously rejected a unilateral truce, saying Israel should halt its operations in the Gaza Strip concurrently with any ceasefire by Palestinian factions.