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Gaza multi-faction crisis unit agrees to continue with truce

Aug. 15, 2008 7:48 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 15, 2008 7:48 P.M.)
Cairo - Ma'an - The crisis unit created to respond to Israeli truce violations in Gaza announced that it will continue to abide by the terms of the truce, but requests that Egypt pressure Israel to do the same so the siege on Gaza can finally end.

Daoud Shihab, the spokesperson of Islamic Jihad said on Friday that Palestinian factions met as the crisis unit to assess the two month long truce agreement between Hamas and Israel on Thursday.

He added in statements to the Egyptian News Agency Al- Sharq Al- Awsat in Gaza that the discussions of the crisis unit are unified and all factions hope "Israel will fulfill its commitments towards the truce."

Leaders of the crisis unit will head to Egypt this week to address the issue with leaders involved in brokering the original deal. "We have a great hope," said Shihab, "that since Egypt has a great role in the region and in the World it will be able to force Israel to comply with what has been agreed."

Without an Israeli agreement to adhere to the terms of the ceasefure, he said, the Palestinian factions are agreed that the truce is useless, "despite of the fact that all of the factions did not violate the truce and Israel continued with its crimes and attacks against the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip."

Salah Al-Bardaweel, a Palestinian Legislative Council member for theHamas bloc and a party leader said that among the issues discussed in the meeting was that of giving a chance to Egypt to salvage the truce agreement.

He added that "it is affirmed that no party should violate the truce on its own. A unified decision of voiding the truce should be taken unanimously by all factions."

Concerning the Palestinian dialogue, Bardaweel said that "we in the Hamas movement and as PLC members do not mind dialogue whenever it is serious in ending the division among Palestinians."

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