Hamas and the Islamic Jihad movement denied reports on a deal struck in Egypt claiming that the two resistance movements will lay arms and stop all attacks against Israeli targets from Gaza Strip after an Israeli withdrawal from the strip.

Hamas said, the resistance will continue until the end of the occupation and the return of the refugees.

‘What was published on the media about Hamas accepting to lay down arms is incorrect, Hamas has confirmed to that resistance arms are not for political bargain,’ said Osama Hamdan, Hamas’ spokesperson in Lebanon.

Hamdan added in the leaflet published by Hamas, ‘We in Hamas invite all the other resistance factions to be ready to deal with the situation after the Zionist withdrawal out of Gaza Strip, if it happens, on the base of resuming the resistance and to enforce the steadfastness of our nation and to protect its unity. We are not willing to pay a price of the withdrawal for the enemy, or engage in the ‘Sharoni’ plan that aims to kill the Palestinian Rights’

On his part, Mohammad Al-Hindi, spokesperson of the Islamic Jihad in Palestine, denied any communiqué in this regard with Marwan Al-Bargouthi and said he does not believe that Al-Bargouthi thinks in this way.

Al-Hindi said these reports are rumors by the Israeli intelligence to test the reaction of the different Palestinians factions.

Hamas & Jihad agree to lay down arms after pullout


A source close to the Secretary General of Fatah Marwan Al-Bargouthi, imprisoned in Israel since April 2002, that both Hamas and Islamic Jihad resistance movement have agreed in principle to lay down arms after an Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

The source said Al-Bargouthi has formulated the agreement from his prison cell.

Israeli newspaper published online in Arabic, ArabYnet said, a tangible progress have been achieved on the talks among the different Palestinian factions on the preparations for the Israeli pullout.

The source said that the 18-article-proposal details a plan which the PA will take over security responsibilities in the Strip immediately after the withdrawal.

The plan includes forming a Follow up committee including representatives of the different political factions and some law makers. The committee will be take responsibility of the evacuated settlements.

The plan states that the Palestinian factions commit to stop launching attacks against Israeli targets from Gaza Strip yet, not those launched from the West Bank. Additionally, the resistance operatives commit to sell their weapons to the Palestinian Security forces within three months.

According to the plan, resistance operatives will be allowed to join the PA security forces on the condition of disengaging from their respective organizations. The plan also suggests holding reforms in the PA and elections within 6 months after the withdrawal.

Egyptian officials expressed their satisfaction of the Bargouthi’s plan, and said it is encouraging, an Egyptian source said.

On the other hand, Israeli sources expressed their belief that Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are not serious concerning laying down their arms after the withdrawal. The sources said, this is a maneuver by the Palestinian president Yasser Arafat to show that he is in control of the situation.

‘The terrorist organizations want to show itself as ready to give concessions. If they lay down their arms, they will not be a power in the strip, and according to the suggested plan, they will be merged with the security forces so eventually, this is not a lay down of arms’ the source said.

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