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Hamas: Ceasefire Possible

Color me dubious. From the Jerusalem Post:

Sheikh Hassan Yusef, head of the Hamas political bureau in Ramallah said Monday that Hamas is willing to declare a 10 year hudna, or ceasefire.

In an interview with Israel Radio, the senior Hamas leader said that the Islamic movement would consider committing to a ceasefire in order to ultimately join a national unity government with the Palestinian leadership, as Hamas is interested in playing an active role in the new Palestinian government and participating in national decisions.

He did not reject the possibility that Hamas would stop terror attacks against Israel during negotiations. However, a truce with Israel, Yusef said, would be dependant on an end of the Israeli occupation of the territories, release of security prisoners and “elimination of Israeli violence.” When asked which borders “occupation” was referring to, he said the borders of 1967, not 1948.

Yusef also called on the United States and the international community to reconsider their definition of Hamas a “terror organization.”

The statements came following Mahmoud Abbas’s (Abu Mazen) appeals to end the state of anarchy and illegal armament in the territories.

Sheikh Yusef, who was recently released from an Israeli prison after completing a two-year-and-four-month sentence for membership in an illegal movement, was a close associate of the late PA chairman Yasser Arafat and is considered a senior and influential member of Hamas.

Senior Hamas members in the Gaza Strip and abroad have not yet reacted to Yusef’s declarations.

Security sources in Gaza have said that the Palestinian Authority has put together a security plan that will attempt to put an end to the illegal carrying of weapons on the Palestinian street.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, who served as Arafat’s spokesman for the past decade, also recently came out against the prevalent trend of illegally bearing arms. In an interview with al-Jazeera, Rudeineh said, “Both the Fatah and Hamas need to understand that this phenomenon will harm the Palestinians rather than strengthen them.”

Report: PA calls to stop incitement against Israel

Meanwhile, according to London based pan-Arab newspaper a-Sharak al-Awsat, the Palestinian Authority leadership has instructed its media to halt all incendiary broadcasts against Israel, especially songs and video clips directly calling on audiences to continue the Intifada.

The newspaper claimed that the order was given less than 24 hours after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon demanded that the Palestinians stop incitement against Israel if they want to renew negotiations, Army Radio reported. Sharon made the statements in a speech to the Likud faction a week and a half ago.

At the same time, PA sources are reportedly assembling a collection of statements made by Israeli politicians, military officers and rabbis which discriminate against Palestinians to prove that Israel is guilty of incitement and sedition as well, Army Radio reported.


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