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Palestinians Fire 3 Rockets at Israel - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip, AP -Palestinian militants in Gaza fired three rockets at Israel early Sunday, despite reports that they had agreed to halt such attacks.

Palestinian officials said earlier that the main militant groups — Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades — had agreed to stop firing rockets if Israel calls off its Gaza offensive.

The groups, who recently met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza City, denied an agreement had been reached.

The talks were sponsored by Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, said the officials, who declined to be named because the meeting was closed.

Nabil Shaath, an aide to Abbas, said the Palestinians were in agreement that Israel and the militants should call a cease-fire.

“A cease-fire is a cease-fire. It has to be accepted by the two parties, and it has to lead to a resolution of all the outstanding issues” in Gaza, Shaath said in an interview.

Israel has been carrying out a campaign of airstrikes and raids into Gaza for nearly a month. More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in the offensive, which began after militants captured an Israeli soldier in a cross-border raid.

Days later, Hezbollah militants operating out of Lebanon captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid, opening a second front in Israel’s fight against Islamic militants. Israel has responded with a large-scale offensive in Lebanon.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was traveling leaving for the region Sunday to explore the possibility of a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah. She was also expected to meet Abbas.

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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