Abbas: Gaza rockets must stop

Palestinian president says truce with Israel starts with halt in firing from Gaza.

    Israel's strikes in Gaza have killed 48 Palestinians in response to rockets killing two Israelis [AP]

    Abbas said: "Any assault or air raid against us [after ceasing rocket-fire] becomes unjustified for them and in the eyes of the international community."

     

    "This should be the starting point - rockets must stop."

     

    He also said that Israel should halt its assault on the Gaza Strip.

     

    "They should be put to the test for a month, and then we can move to the West Bank where incursions and attacks should come to an end.

     

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    "After that we can move onto other matters associated with the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement – namely: the displaced, the withdrawal from territories occupied after September 28, 2000 and also the issue of the release of prisoners.

     

    "All these issues can be one package, one deal. I drafted them in a ten point document and presented them to the other Palestinian parties. Until now, there has been no response."

     

    Israel has been waging a crackdown on Hamas for nearly two weeks, conducting deadly air strikes in Gaza in response to an increase in rocket fire.
     
    The raids have so far killed 48 Palestinians. Two Hamas ministers have been arrested along with 32 other senior officials in the West Bank.

     

    Israeli forces have also killed two Hamas fighters in the southern Gaza strip and arrested a senior Fatah official in the north of the occupied West Bank in continuing raids.

     
    The two Hamas fighters were killed during clashes with Israeli forces in Rafah, in the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday.
     
    Security sources said Abdelkarim Shaath and Mohammad Muammar of Hamas' armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, were shot at close range after being detained by the soldiers.
     
    A meeting between Abbas and Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, has been scheduled for next week, but no date has been set.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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