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Haniyeh: The ball is in Israel's court

April 23, 2008 2:26 P.M. (Updated: April 23, 2008 2:26 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - Palestinian Prime Minister in the Gaza-based de facto government Isma'il Haniyeh on Wednesday reiterated that Hamas will only agree to a ceasefire with Israel if it is bilateral.

and establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 territories.

Speaking during inauguration of new children hospital in Gaza city, Haniyeh said, "Commitment to a ceasefire depends on the halting of Israeli aggression and ending the crippling siege on the Gaza Strip."

He also highlighted that Hamas would go ahead with the ceasefire deal on condition that all other Palestinian factions agree to it.

"After Hamas reveals its final decision to the Egyptians, the ball will be in Israel's court," Haniyeh said.

Haniyeh said Hamas' approval of a Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 was nothing new.

"We agree on a Palestinian state on 1967 territories with Jerusalem as its capital, but free of Israeli settlements, adherence to the right of return of Palestinian refugees and no recognition of Israel," Haniyeh said.

The de facto prime minister said Hamas has three stipulations before the Palestinian people are asked to vote on the issue in a referendum. These are, inter-Palestinian reconciliation, inclusion of Palestinians in exile if possible and if not the Palestinian National Council should be restructured to include Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The third pre-requisite is that none of the inalienable Palestinian principles can be included in the referendum.

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