As Egyptian intelligence chief, Omar Sulieman is set to hold talks on Monday with Israeli officials over Cairo-mediated Palestinian ceasefire offer, the Israeli cabinet discussed on Sunday the current situation.
Isreali media sources reported that Sunday’s meeting tackled the latest developments in Gaza, where the Israeli army actions go unabated, whilst Palestinian homemade shells fire continued over the weekend, claiming the lives of five Hamas men and an Israeli citizen in southern Israel.
Suleiman, whose country helped guaranteeing a ceasefire initiative by the ruling Hamas party, will carry tomorrow the truce proposal, which includes halt of Israeli military attacks on Gaza and end of the underway siege, in return for stopping homemade fire attacks by Hamas and other resistance factions, for a period of six months.
Last month, Israel rebuffed the offer as ‘ maneuver by Hamas to rearm and reorganize after recent fighting with the Israeli army in Gaza’, but Hamas insisted that the offer ‘throws the ball into the Israeli court. ‘
However, Israeli online English edition daily Haarets, quoted Israeli deputy-minister, of defense, Matan Valnaei, as saying ‘ there is a possibility for an unconditional ceasefire, if Hamas stops homemade rockets fire and arms smuggling through the Egyptian territories’.
Valnaei dismissed any deals with a group (Hamas) that still ‘ flies the flag for the destruction of Israel’.
Israeli Prime Minster, Ehud Olmert, whose domestic standing has been sapped over a police probe into bribery, said in a speech over the weekend that he would continue striking back against Palestinian resistance attacks very harshly, while keeping up peace talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, a moderate and western-backed leader.
Yesterday, the Egyptian authorities reopened the 11-month-long closed Rafah crossing terminal in southern Gaza, to allow hundreds of Gaza patients and stranded people, into Cairo.
Since it has been democratically-elected during the 2006’s parliamentary ballots, the Islamist Hamas party has shunned peace negotiations with Israel until Israel halts military actions on Gaza and the West Bank alike.
Israel, United States and western governments have sidelined Hamas until Hamas recognizes Israel and adheres to past signed peace agreements with Israel.
Since June2007, Israel has enforced a crippling closure on the coastal enclave after Hamas seized control over there, in the wake of factional fighting with the secular Fatah party of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.