Barhoum: Hamas will abide by the ceasefire declaration

June 18, 2008 5:02 AM IMEMC & Agencies Gaza Strip, News Report, Truce 0

Hamas's spokesman in Gaza, Fawzi Barhoum, said that his ruling party will abide by the ceasefire declaration, Cairo announced on Tuesday. Barhoum was responding to Tuesday's Egyptian declaration of a ceasefire agreement between Palestinian factions and Israel, which Cairo has been mediating over the past several weeks.

According to the spokesman of the Egyptian foreign ministry, Hussam Zaki, the ceasefire deal will go into effect by Thursday morning and that both Israel and the Palestinians will commit to the ceasefire simultaneously, in conjunction with lifting the Israeli blockade on Gaza gradually.

Hamas's spokesman, Barhoum stated to IMEMC's correspondent in Gaza that his party welcomed the declaration but it preserves the right to retaliate to any Israeli army attacks on Gaza until Thursday morning.

Barhounm also stated that any agreement on the ground should not include the case of captured Israeli soldier Gila'd Shalit, but he maintained that the Palestinian factions, involving Hamas, would abide by stopping the homemade shells fired from Gaza if the Israeli aggression comes to a halt.

Asked whether Hamas has received details of the agreement, Barhoum explained" the party's representatives have been working relentlessly with the Egyptian brothers regarding the truce talks, for the best of Palestinian national interests".

In April, the ruling Hamas party in Gaza submitted a ceasefire initiative to Egyptian mediators, stipulating the halt of homemade shells fired from Gaza onto nearby Israeli towns, in return for lifting the Israeli blockade and ceasing Israeli military attacks on the region.

Israel has set two main conditions for any truce deal; the release of Shalit and a crackdown on weapons smuggling from Egypt into Gaza.

Concurrently the Israeli army carried out a series of air strikes on different parts of the coastal territory, killing six Palestinian men and wounding six others.

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