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Hamas Seeks Renewal of Israel Cease-Fire - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip, AP -The Islamic militant group Hamas said Thursday it is ready to restore its cease-fire with Israel several days after calling it off to protest a deadly explosion on a Gaza beach.

But Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas-led Palestinian government, said the offer was conditional on Israel accepting the Palestinians’ demand “to stop their aggression.”

“This is very clear for us. We are interested to keep the situation and quit, especially in the Gaza Strip,” Hamad said. “We are ready to do it, but (only) if the Israeli side has a strong intention to respond positively to the call … to stop their aggression.”

Hamas called an end to the February 2005 truce Friday after eight Palestinian beachgoers were killed in an explosion the Palestinians blame on Israel. The Israeli army says it was not involved in the blast.

Hamas fired several dozen rockets toward southern Israel over the weekend, but in recent days there has been a lull.

Israeli officials said Thursday the cessation is due to threats against Hamas. Israeli officials earlier this week threatened to begin killing Hamas leaders, including Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, if the rocket fire continued.

The Islamic Jihad militant group, which has never accepted the truce, fired five rockets toward Israel on Thursday.

Hamas, which opposes the existence of Israel, has killed hundreds of Israelis in 4 1/2 years of violence.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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