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Hamas, Islamic Jihad 'not consulted' over truce deal

July 15, 2014 9:45 A.M. (Updated: July 15, 2014 2:56 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas and Islamic Jihad said Tuesday that they were not consulted over the terms of a truce deal with Israel, with the al-Qassam Brigades branding the proposal as "surrender."

"To avoid confusion and to be clear with our people, al-Qassam Brigades confirm that we haven't been contacted by any official or unofficial entities about terms of this alleged initiative."

"If what has been circulated is true, this initiative means kneeling and submissiveness and so we completely refuse it and to us, it's not worth the ink used in writing it," a statement added.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Hamas was not officially informed by any party.

"We are a people under occupation and resistance is a legitimate right for occupied peoples," he said.

Egyptian sources said Monday that the initiative was based on consultations with Israel, the Palestinian Authority and all Palestinian factions.

Senior Islamic Jihad official Khalid al-Batsh welcomed Egypt's role, but said that there was only contact between Egypt and Israel.

"Initiatives shouldn't be proposed through media outlets, but rather through the obvious channels, which are resistance factions and their leaders."

Deputy secretary-general of the group, Ziad al-Nakhalah, said late Monday that there couldn't be a ceasefire agreement without guarantees to end Israeli aggression and the blockade on Gaza.

"We are open to any initiative, but rocket fire won't stop unless a real and appropriate agreement is reached," he added.

Israel's security cabinet on Tuesday accepted an Egyptian ceasefire proposal, a government spokesman said, after a week of deadly bombings on Gaza which killed over 180 Palestinians.

"The cabinet has decided to accept the Egyptian initiative for a ceasefire starting 9am today," Ofir Gendelman, spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Twitter.

Israeli ministers in the security cabinet had begun meeting early on Tuesday to consider the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire to start immediately from 9 a.m.

President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday evening he supported the Egyptian ceasefire initiative and urged all sides to comply to protect "the blood of our people and our higher national interests."

An Israeli airstrike killed at least three people Tuesday morning in Khan Younis.

No Israelis have been killed during the military assault on Gaza.
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