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lord patch
05-20-2008, 06:50 PM
'Truce Doesn't Mean End of Resistance'


al manar tv news


تاريخ الطباعة: 21/05/2008

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Israel is mistaken if it thinks that a truce with Hamas would mean that the "resistance operations" would end, a senior Hamas official said Monday. "The confrontation with the [Israeli] occupation will continue despite the talk about a tahdiyah [calm]," said Osama Hamdan, Hamas's representative in Lebanon.



"Hamas does not trust the Israelis because they are likely to violate the tahdiyah and launch fresh aggressions against our people. As far as Hamas is concerned, all options remain open."



Hamdan's remarks came as a senior Hamas delegation arrived in Cairo Monday for talks with Egyptian General Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman on Egypt's efforts to achieve a cease-fire between the Palestinians and Israel.



The delegation, which is scheduled to meet with Suleiman Tuesday to hear about Israel's position regarding the Egyptian truce initiative, is headed by Mahmoud Zahar and Musa Abu Marzuk.



"Egypt must be biased toward the Palestinians and not play the role of mediator," Hamdan said. "Egypt should not be different from the rest of the Arabs, who fully support the Palestinian position."



He said Hamas went to Cairo only to learn about the Israeli response to the Egyptian initiative and not to discuss it, noting that his movement had already accepted it.



Referring to the case of captured Israeli occupation soldier Gilad Schalit, the Hamas official said his movement would not "succumb" to Israel's demand that the issue be part of any truce deal.



"We won't surrender to Israeli extortion," he added. "Hamas is different from the other Palestinian parties, which are used to making free concessions to Israel."



Another Hamas representative, Ismail Radwan, said his movement did not rule out the possibility of a major confrontation if Israel rejects the initiative. "Some Israelis are calling for accepting the tahdiyah, while others are talking about invading the Gaza Strip. But we are prepared for all possibilities, regardless of whether Israel says yes or no. If we are forced to fight, we will enter the battle."



Israel does not intend to officially announce that it has accepted the tahdiyeh deal, but will let the situation unfold gradually - and evaluate the indirect accord with Hamas on the basis of results on the ground.



Tuesday's meeting between Suleiman and a Hamas-led delegation from the Gaza Strip headed by Abu Marzouk is critical to whether the cease-fire deal will be closed. Suleiman will present Israel's position on the cease-fire and its other demands to the Hamas representatives.



Suleiman will meet with Israeli officials following the meeting with Hamas, and a decision will be made on H-hour, the point at which the cease-fire will go into effect.



Barak on Monday met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Suleiman, Foreign Minister Ahmad Aboul Gheit, and Defense Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. During his meetings, Barak presented the Egyptians with Israel's conditions for a cease-fire with the Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.



Barak broke down the stages of the cease-fire, and said that the Israeli army will conduct itself within an agreement for "security calm" only after a complete cessation of the Qassam rocket attacks targeting communities in the western Negev, as well as all attacks originating in the Strip.



The Egyptians told Barak that they will step up their efforts to prevent weapons smuggling from Sinai into the Strip, and claimed that they are already seeing a major improvement. However, the issue of smuggling was the subject of discussion for officers and officials from both sides at a recent meeting.



Egyptian sources said that Israel presented a position that offers the cease-fire agreement real chances of success. Barak insisted that even if there is a cease-fire in the Strip, Israel will retain the freedom of action in the West Bank.



Barak also presented the Egyptians with another demand: "Israel is asking for furthering and accelerating the negotiations for the release of the abducted soldier Gilad Shalit as part of the overall process of settling the situation in the area [the Gaza Strip]."



Egyptian sources said that Israel did not condition the agreement for a cease-fire on the release of the captured soldier, but added that Israel would like to renew efforts to restart the frozen process of releasing detainees. Egypt has made it clear that if the cease-fire agreement is accepted, then the efforts for the release of Shalit will pick up pace.




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