Friday, May 06, 2011

Hamas leader calls to keep truce with Israel

GAZA – The Hamas leader in Gaza urged militant groups on Thursday to stick with a de facto truce with Israel, announced after fighting last month, so as to give a Palestinian reconciliation deal with Fatah rivals a chance.
“I call for giving the coming government a chance by maintaining” the ceasefire deal, Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech, a day after Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement signed a unity pact in Cairo.

“We do not fear threats. We do not fear the occupation,” he added, referring to Israel.

“We always said that we seek and have sought to avoid a new war,” Haniyeh said in a two-hour address.

Haniyeh’s comments seemed the first concrete sign of progress for the unity deal brokered by Egypt for which security had been envisaged as a potential pitfall.

The agreement seeks to resolve a four-year split in the Palestinian national movement that had hindered the quest to achieve statehood in land captured by Israel in the 1967 war.

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