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Hamas: Egypt did not invite Hamas to discuss ceasefire's fate
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11:38, December 14, 2008

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Egypt, which brokered a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel, did not invite the Islamic movement to discuss the future of the agreement which expires on Dec. 19, a Hamas spokesman said Saturday.

The spokesman, Ayman Taha, added that "the Palestinian factions have unanimously accepted the lull and would collectively made any decision on the deal."

The six-month ceasefire, applied in the Gaza Strip, started from June but was left near collapse last month after cross-border violence between Gaza militants and Israeli soldiers flared.

The ceasefire calls on Israel to ease Gaza blockade in exchange for halting rocket-fire from the Hamas-controlled territory. Since the resumption of violence on Nov. 4, Israel has tightened the closure on Gaza, only allowing a few convoys of aid into the territory in addition to limited shipments of diesel for the only power station there which was shut down several times during the recent violence.

Meanwhile, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter will arrive in Damascus Saturday and expected to meet Hamas' politburo chief Khaled Mashaal to discuss the fate of the ceasefire, sources said.

The Hamas sources added that Mashaal and Carter will also talk about Gilad Shalit, a captive Israeli soldier held by Hamas since 2006.

Source: Xinhua

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