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Erekat: PNA asks Egypt to continue mediation on cease-fire with Israel
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09:17, April 14, 2008

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Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Sunday that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has urged Egypt to continue efforts of mediation to reach a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians.

Erekat revealed the PNA appeal in a news conference, saying "stabilizing a ceasefire with Israel is a Palestinian interest, and this is why we officially asked Egypt to continue its mediations efforts with both Israel and the Palestinian groups until a ceasefire is reached."

He, meanwhile, called on Palestinian factions and militant groups to succeed the efforts of Egypt and reinforce a ceasefire with Israel that ends the current crisis.

"The alternative to ceasefire is a large-scale Israeli military operation on the Gaza Strip," Erekat said, adding "if the Israeli forces carry out an attack on Gaza, a real humanitarian catastrophe is for sure expected."

Israel imposed a tightened blockade on the Gaza Strip after Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip in June last year. Following an increase of rockets attacks from Gaza at Israel, the latter considered the Gaza Strip a hostile entity.

In spite of Erekat's calls on militant groups to be committed to calm with Israel, several Palestinian militant groups claimed Sunday their responsibility for launching four homemade rockets at southern Israel.

In response, Israeli artillery launched one shell at a group of militants early on Sunday morning, Palestinian security sources said, adding that one Palestinian militant was moderately injured.


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