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Israel proposes Gaza ceasefire, including "flexibility" on border crossings

April 14, 2008 10:40 A.M. (Updated: April 14, 2008 10:40 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Egypt has delivered an Israeli proposal for a short-term ceasefire to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported on Monday.

Israel is demanding a six month to one year halt on all shelling of Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip. In exchange, Israel would show flexibility about opening Gaza's border crossings, including the Rafah crossing into Egypt.

Al-Hayat Al-Jadida's Palestinian sources said that Israel rejected a ceasefire in the West Bank because the territory is divided, according to the Oslo accords, into areas A, B, and C, resulting in mixed Palestinian and Israeli control. Furthermore, the Israelis refuse to withdraw from the areas they reoccupied during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002.

Hamas has reportedly accepted the idea of a ceasefire in Gaza. Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian presidency, the Popular and the Democratic Fronts for the Liberation of Palestine as well as the Popular Resistance Committees have all reportedly rejected the offer.

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