GAZA CITY — Egypt is trying to broker a truce between Israel and Gaza militants, Hamas said yesterday, warning that the Jewish state would have to hold fire first for calm to return
“All the Palestinian factions have a positive position,” Hamas spokesman Taher al Nunu said.
“But all of them say the Israeli aggression started three days ago and before any talk about a truce, the Israeli side should stop.”
Egyptian officials, who have brokered numerous ceasefire agreements between Israel and Gaza militants in the past, were in constant contact in a bid to end the flare-up, he said.
“The Egyptian side is talking with us constantly, we appreciate their role and we hope that their role will succeed to end this aggression,” he said.
“They accept our position that the Israeli side should stop their aggression first and we said clearly to them that if the Israeli side stops the aggression we will respond positively.”
Earlier yesterday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said efforts to restore the calm that preceded the latest violence were under way but cautioned that “until now there has been nothing productive.”
A spokesman for Islamic Jihad said the group was not involved in any contacts to end the clashes.
“There are no contacts. If the Israeli aggression continues and there are more victims there will be no room for discussion about a calm,” Daud Shihab said.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank city of Ramallah,
Palestinian President Mahmod Abbas appealed for calm, making phone calls to Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal and Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shallah, Palestinian state news agency WAFA said. — AFP