Hamas ready for one year truce in exchange of open borders.
Hamas officials said Tuesday they are ready to commit to a truce with Israel for at least a year in exchange for a full opening of Gaza Strip's borders, as the movement started a new round of talks with Egyptian mediators.
Meanwhile, foreign ministers of ten Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, met in the United Arab Emirates in a show of unity in support for Cairo's efforts to forge a long-term truce. "There is an agreement in principle about a calm for one year," said Ahmed Abdel-Hadi, a Lebanon-based Hamas official. "But the movement could show flexibility regarding the time ... if there are guarantees and commitments to lift the sanctions and open the borders," he told Gaza's Al Quds Radio.
On his part, Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, stated the Palestinian movement is open to extending the cease-fire for 18 months. Abdel-Hadi said Hamas rejects a gradual opening of the border crossings or linking a truce deal to a release of Israeli soldier Sgt. Gilad Schalit, held in Gaza since June 2006. "We are going to deal with all the issues as one package, because we are going to avoid the trap of gradual implementation," he said.
Barhoum said the key to any truce is that Egypt open its crossing with Gaza Strip, but added that the details of running the crossing into Gaza are open to discussion.
2009 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
2009 Al Bawaba (Albawaba.com)
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|Date:||Feb 4, 2009|
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