Hamas official: Egypt to declare Israeli-Palestinian truce within two days

by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies, Feb. 13, 2009

Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouq, vice-president of the political bureau of Hamas, stated on Thursday at night that in the coming two days Egypt would declare truce between the Palestinian and the Israeli sides, the Maan News Agency reported.

Abu Marzouq added that Hamas agreed to an 18-month truce which will lead to opening the six terminals between the Gaza Strip and Israel, and halting all forms of military activities.

He said that this anticipated deal was formulated after talks with all Palestinian factions and Egyptian-mediated talks with Israel.

In an interview with the Middle East news agency, Abu Marzouq said that Hamas accepted an 18-month truce with Israel after most of the obstacles were resolved.

The Hamas official added that one of the obstacles was the prisoner-swap deal, and explained that the issue of Gilad Shalit is not part of the truce deal.

“We want the release of detainees in exchange for releasing Shalit”, Abu Marzouq said, “We gave Egypt a list of names of detainees we want freed, if Israel accepts it, we can finalize the deal”.

On Wednesday, Hamas delegates met with the head of the Egyptian Intelligence, Lieutenant General Omar Suleiman, and held talks over a number of issues, mainly truce and rebuilding Gaza, a positive development was reportedly achieved.

Furthermore, Abu Marzouq said that talks between Hamas delegates and all Palestinian factions would continue until arriving to a national and clear agreement.

Hamas said that some of the essential issues are halting the Israeli aggression, opening the crossings and allowing the needed goods and materials into Gaza.

Commenting on internal Palestinian affairs, Hamas delegates in Egypt said that the file political arrests should be closed, and all smear campaigns should come to an end in order to prepare for a constructive internal dialogue.

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