Ahmad Quraya will meet representatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza City on Wednesday, as well as Egyptian intelligence officials who helped broker a previous truce with Israel.

Islamic Jihad leader Muhammad al-Hindi said his group was ready to meet with Quraya and discuss a suspension of bombings.

"We can speak about sparing civilians, but we are not in favour of discussing a complete truce because it is against the interests of the Palestinian people," he said. "We cannot give (Israel) a truce for free."

One-sided truce 

There has been no response so far from Hamas, whose leadership has been in hiding in recent weeks after Israel declared an "all-out war" on the organisation.

But Ahmad Ghunaim, a member of President Yasir Arafat's Fatah movement, told Aljazeera that any truce would have to be observed by both sides. 

“The previous ceasefire was implemented by the Palestinian side only,” he said.

“Palestinian factions still doubt the Israeli commitment to the ceasefire. Therefore, a third international side, such as the Quartet or the United States, should intervene to guarantee the implementation of the new ceasefire by both sides”

Ahmed Ghunaim,
Fatah

“It was then called off due to Israel’s continuous aggression against the Palestinians, the assassinations of resistance leaders, the continuous siege imposed on Palestinian leader Arafat, and the closures imposed on Palestinian territories."

Impartial observers

He added: ““Palestinian factions still doubt the Israeli commitment to the ceasefire. Therefore, a third international side, such as the Quartet or the United States, should intervene to guarantee the implementation of the new ceasefire by both sides.”   

Quraya, who was formally installed as premier last week, has made securing a mutual truce with Israel the top priority of his new government.

Israel has said it will only regard Quraya as a partner for peace if he shows a willingness to dismantle the "terror infrastructure" of organisations such as Hamas.

And Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said in Brussels on Tuesday that a truce in itself did not constitute "a solution".

West Bank shooting

Meanwhile, two Palestinians and an Israeli soldier were injured late on Tuesday in the West Bank, Aljazeera has reported.

One of the Palestinians injured said an Israeli patrol stopped their car while they were heading towards Ram Allah.

While checking their ID cards, the soldiers opened fire at the passengers, injuring two. No other details were immediately available.