Hamas political leader, Mahmoud Zahhar, stated on Thursday that the movement accepts a truce in Gaza under a national agreement, and added that this truce should be extended later on to the West Bank. Zahhar added that during the truce period of six months, Egypt will be mediating to extend the truce to the West Bank.

The Hamas leader said, in a press conference after he concluded a visit to Egypt, that Hamas delegates met with the Egyptian security chief, Omar Suleiman, and agreed with him on the truce as long as it is bilateral with Israel.

He said that Egypt will be opening the Rafah border terminal even if Israel withdraws from the truce deal.

Zahhar stated that Hamas demanded Egypt to supervise a truce deal with all factions, and that this deal will be declared as part of  national conciliation.

Furthermore, Zahhar said that he agreed with Suleiman to call on all factions to convene next Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss a proposed deal by Hamas. If all factions agree to the proposed truce deal, Suleiman will contact the Israeli side to guarantee Israel’s commitment to the truce and to set a start date.

“Egypt promised to contact Israel soon in order to prepare the atmosphere for the truce and to provide the residents of Gaza with their basic humanitarian needs, including fuel”, Zahhar said.

Egypt will also be holding talks regarding those issues with the Palestinian president.

“Now the ball is in Israel’s court, if they are not committed to the truce, and to our right to live in dignity like all other nations, if they do not stop the siege and stop the attacks, then we will maintain our right in defending ourselves”, Zahhar concluded.    

Several other Palestinian groups gave their preliminarily agreement to the offer, Zahhar stated.

 Also, Prime Minister of the Hamas-led government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyya, said that Hamas is willing to offer Israel an extended truce (hudna), adding that Israel should in return withdraw to the 1967 borders, accept the establishment of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital, and recognize the Right Of Return of the Palestinian refugees.

The movement did not offer a recognition of Israel saying that it cannot recognize an entity which still occupies the Palestinian people.