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Haneya says Palestinian-Israeli ceasefire must include West Bank
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20:10, April 23, 2008

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Ex-Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haneya from the Hamas movement on Wednesday assured that any ceasefire deal with Israel should be applicable in the West Bank in addition to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

"The lull, if the Israeli occupation accepted, must be mutual, comprehensive and applied in West Bank and Gaza Strip under a national Palestinian agreement," Haneya told reporters while inaugurating a pediatric hospital in Gaza City.

He stressed that "the ball now is in the Israeli court to reach the calmness."

Haneya's statements came after reports said that Egypt had brokered a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel to be valid in the Gaza Strip.

"The calmness must emphasize the geographical unity of the Palestinian land and people ... its mechanism are conditional to stopping the aggression, lifting the siege and reopening the crossings," Haneya continued.

Israel imposes a tight siege and escalates military operations in Gaza since June when Hamas fought Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' forces and took over the Gaza Strip.

A delegation from Hamas, which had held series of talks with Egyptian officials, will return to Cairo later on Wednesday "to present the movement's vision of the calmness" to the Egyptians, according to Haneya.

The delegation is coming from Damascus after holding talks with exiled Hamas' chief Khaled Mashaal.

By presenting Hamas' final responses on the Egyptian ceasefire proposals, the argument and debates about the ceasefire will be over, a Hamas spokesman said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Haneya reiterated that Hamas accepts a Palestinian statehood inside the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital and without Israeli settlements inside it, stressing that this acceptance doesn't mean that Hamas recognizes Israel.

Haneya also called for resuming the Palestinian dialogue which was stopped when his movement took over the coastal strip. Abbas fired Haneya's government in June and formed a Western-backed government based in the West Bank. Hamas, however, continued to rule the Gaza Strip.

"We call on ending the interior Palestinian divisions away from the U.S. administration's pressures which put veto on the national Palestinian dialogue," Haneya said. "We won't bow before the U.S. administration or Israel."

Source:Xinhua



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