Truce under threat, warns Hamas

The Palestinian resistance group Hamas has warned that Israel's refusal to release thousands of prisoners would threaten the truce even as Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas denied reports about his intention to resign.

    Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin said on Wednesday that the group  remained committed to the agreement but its patience "had limits".

    Mahmoud Abbas also called on Israel to free all detainees "as soon as possible" while denying statements by Fatah officials that he tendered his resignation for his failure to get Israel to meet its commitments under the truce agreeement.

    "Our patience has limits. Israel continues to violate the truce and they are unwilling to release all the prisoners," Ismail Hania, a senior Hamas official told Aljazeera.

    Earlier Wednesday, a Palestinian was killed and his wife critciially injured in the north of the West Bank after Israeli troops opened fire on them.

    It was the first fatal shooting of a Palestinian since 5 July, after the temporary truce agreed upon by both sides halted, in fair measure, the spiraling violence.

    Under the truce agreement, Palestinian groups such as Hamas had pledged to suspend attacks on Israel for the next three months to give the US-backed roadmap peace plan for the region a chance to succeed.

    Prisoners file

    Israeli cabinet minister Tsippie Livni reiterated during the day that no jailed members of the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad would be released.

    "We are not going to release prisoners who belong to extremist organizations and add to the number of terrorists circulating at will among the Palestinians," Livini said.

    That would effectively exclude most of up to 8,000 prisoners arrested since the Palestinian uprising or intifadah began in September 2000.

    "Our patience has its limits. Israeli practices (including) the issue of the prisoners, are a red line that can never be bypassed in any way or form," Yassin said after talks with Egyptian security officials.

     

    The Egyptian delegation is in Gaza trying to shore up the ceasefire.

     

    "

    We put the Egyptian delegation in the picture about Israeli violations and aggressions and that the Israeli occupation must bear its responsibilities for the results of these violations," Hania said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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