Hamas, Islamic Jihad claim no conflict over cease-fire
with Israel; maintain right to "launch resistance
attacks" if Israel invades Gaza Strip.
Representatives of various Palestinian factions met
Gaza Strip on Wednesday night to discuss ways of
avoiding another war with
Israel, sources close to Hamas said.
An official in the talks said that the "factions
agreed to "recommit to the national understanding to
stop rocket firing," as long as Israel does not
conduct any more air strikes or other attacks on
Gaza, Reuters reported.
The meeting was held at the request of Hamas, which
has been exerting heavy pressure on all armed groups
in the Gaza Strip to stop rocket and mortar attacks
The Hamas delegation at the talks was headed by
Mahmoud Zahar and Khalil al-Hayeh, the sources
said, adding that an agreement on a cease-fire was
expected to be announced soon.
On the eve of the discussions, Hamas reiterated its
commitment to preserving the state of calm with
Sources in the Gaza Strip said that most of the recent
attacks on Israel were carried out by members of Islamic
Jihad, an organization that had previously refused to
abide by the unofficial truce with Israel.
Mahmoud Hindi, a senior Islamic Jihad official,
announced that his organization has reached an agreement
with other Palestinian groups to “calm the situation on
He also ruled out the possibility that a confrontation
would erupt between Islamic Jihad and Hamas over the
cease-fire with Israel.
Hindi said that while Islamic Jihad has agreed to stop
firing rockets and mortars at Israeli communities, it
maintains the right to “launch resistance attacks” to
foil any Israeli attempt to invade the Gaza Strip.