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Hamas government signals it is reconsidering Gaza truce

Nov. 18, 2008 2:28 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 18, 2008 2:28 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - The Hamas-run government in Gaza signaled that it is losing patience with Israel and reconsidering a five-month-old truce agreement after two weeks of Israeli military action and an ongoing siege of Gaza.

Ihab Al-Ghussein, the spokesman of the Interior Ministry in the Gaza-based government, urged all Palestinian factions, who signed onto the truce along with Hamas, to reconsider the agreement.

"The Israeli violations to the truce in the Gaza Strip [confirm] that the Israelis never wanted any truce."

Al-Ghussein said Israel is endangering Gazans' lives by sealing the borders and stopping Palestinians from seeking medical treatment outside of the Strip. He also slammed the "silence" of the Arab world and the international community for allowing Israel to continue its blockade.

Al-Ghussein also said that Monday's meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert provided political cover for Israel's violations.

Abbas' reportedly urged Israel to renew the ceasefire agreement. The truce has been on the verge of collapse since an Israeli incursion on 4 November sparked renewed fighting.

In spite of the fighting, neither Israel nor Hamas has officially announced its withdrawal from the agreement to date.
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