Media reports said Thursday that the Palestinian resistance groups returned to a truce with Israel following a meeting of their representatives with senior Egyptian security officials in Gaza.
A meeting called by Burhan Hammad, an Egyptian security official, who is based in the Gaza Strip, led to an agreement by the various Palestinian resistance groups in light of likely Israeli attacks on Gaza. The groups agreed, provided Israel extends the November 2006 ceasefire to the West Bank, and halts attacks on the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian delegation said.
Dawood Shehab, spokesman of the Islamic Jihad group in Gaza, told the IMEMC that his group had not pledged to any party an agreement to the ceasefire: “There has been no agreement with the Egyptian delegation on anything and we have told the delegation that we never fear Israeli threats.” Shehab also maintained, “The problem lies in the Israeli occupation; the longer Israel continues attacks on the Gaza Strip, the more steadfast the resistance is, and this is our position. If there is any talk with this respect, it should be rather addressed to the Israeli occupation, which alone holds the responsibility”.
Hamas said it would stop shells being fired onto Israel once Israel stops attacks on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Israeli radio reported earlier in the day that no Palestinian groups have committed to the ceasefire. Top Israeli security officials, headed by Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, gave orders to the Israeli army to carry out limited pinpoint attacks on the Gaza Strip. The likely Israeli army attack on Gaza comes after the Hamas-linked Ezzilidin Alqssam brigades fired a barrage of homemade shells onto nearby Israeli towns on Tuesday, leaving no Israeli injured and causing slight damages to open fields.
A statement issued by the Hamas militant group announced the truce ‘over’, reading that the latest rockets fired came in reaction to the Israeli army killing 9 Palestinians including passers-by earlier this week. Israel and the Palestinians agreed in late November 2006 to a ceasfire, follwoing a deadly Israeli attack on the northern town of Beit Hanoun, killing 19 Palestinians including 8 women and children.