Hamas vows to observe truce accord

Hamas has confirmed its commitment to a truce agreed to in Egypt but has reserved the right to retaliate against any Israeli attacks.

The Israeli army's raid into Tulkarim is continuing
The Israeli army's raid into Tulkarim is continuing

Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Misri told Aljazeera on Monday that the movement had reassured a visiting Egyptian security delegation of its commitment to observe the period of calm.

Al-Misri described the movement’s meeting with the Egyptian delegation as positive.

“We have agreed on three basic points. We have reaffirmed our commitment to the ‘conditional’ period of calm and compliance to all that had been agreed in Cairo.”

“We have reaffirmed our right to retaliate (against Israeli attacks), since the period of calm was not given for free and it was not intended to preserving Zionist blood and protecting Israeli borders, but to preserve Palestinian blood.”
“And we have also agreed on cooling down the situation. I can reaffirm that Hamas has succeeded in cooling down the situation and relieving the tension,” al-Misri said.


“I can reaffirm that Hamas has succeeded in cooling down the situation and relieving the tension”

Mushir al-Masri,
Hamas spokesman

The Egyptian security delegation has met Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Quraya in the context of its consultations with the Palestinian factions to contain the situation in Gaza.
The delegation had earlier met Fatah delegates and reviewed the differences between Hamas and the Palestinian authority.

It also held a meeting with the Palestinian popular resistance committees who had reaffirmed their commitment to the period of calm along with the right to retaliate against Israeli attacks.


Israeli occupation forces raided the West Bank towns of Ram Allah and Tulkarim while Palestinian resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip kept up rocket and mortar fire on Israeli targets. 

Mahmoud Abbas promised to stop rocket strikes on settlers 

Mahmoud Abbas promised to 
stop rocket strikes on settlers 

The rocket and mortar fire come despite Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ vow to do his utmost to prevent further attacks.

In Ram Allah, Israeli troops stormed the town on Monday, surrounded a building and raided a library, where seven Palestinian youths were detained.

Sources say the detainees are Islamic Jihad members.

Israeli forces have previously arrested its members who used to frequent the library, reported Aljazeera’s correspondent in the town, Shireen Abu Aqla.

The army has confirmed the raid but would not identify those detained, the correspondent added.

Overnight, Israeli troops also detained six other Palestinians in the West Bank, four in Ram Allah and one each in Hebron and Bethlehem.

The Israeli army said they were Hamas activists.  

Israeli settlers are planning another three days of protests

Israeli settlers are planning
another three days of protests

In Tulkarim, Israeli troops were continuing their invasion, targeting Islamic Jihad activists. The movement claimed responsibility for last week’s attack in the Israeli town of Netanya.

Several homes were raided by the army.

Abbas promised on Sunday to do “all we can” to prevent further rocket strikes on Israelis “regardless of the price”.

But on Monday, resistance groups fired about a dozen mortars at Jewish settlements in Gaza and at least one makeshift rocket into southern Israel, the Israeli army said.

There have been more than a hundred such cross-border attacks since last week.

Egyptian mediation

Abbas held talks with Egypt’s deputy intelligence chief, Mustafa al-Buheiri, who rushed to Gaza on a mission to help restore the informal truce.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice scheduled a quick trip to the region this week to try to keep the Gaza pullout on track.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who ordered the army to step up action after a bombing killed five Israelis in a coastal town last Tuesday, told his commanders on Sunday “to act without limitation to stop the strikes on Israeli communities”.

But Sharon later hinted that Israel would not be quick to launch a major incursion into Gaza, telling his cabinet he would “weigh our response” to further truce violations.

Abbas has accused Israel of undermining his efforts to control the situation. But Israel said it had no choice but to act because Abbas, facing a growing political and military challenge from Hamas, had failed to rein in resistance groups.

Sharon has vowed to do whatever is necessary so that Gaza’s 21 settlements are not evacuated “under fire”.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies

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