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Egypt holds intensive contacts to renew Palestinian-Israeli lull
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11:14, December 21, 2008

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The Egyptian leadership is holding intensive contacts to renew a lull that ended on Friday between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza, a senior Fatah movement's official said Saturday.

Azzam el-Ahmed, head of the Fatah movement's block in the Palestinian parliament, known as the PLC, said there are intensive contacts held by Egypt with all parties concerned to renew the ceasefire agreement.

"I expect that the truce with Israel will be renewed within the coming a few days," said el-Ahmed, one day after Gaza militant groups held Israel responsible for ending the truce.

Egypt has brokered a truce between Israel and Gaza militant groups, led by Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip. The truce came into effect on June 19, and ended on Friday.

El-Ahmed denied in his statements to reporters any effect of the truce's end and the track of the peace negotiations with Israel. However, he said that the negotiations are frozen and is not moving.

Meanwhile, earlier on Saturday, Hamas leader in Gaza Atef Odwansaid in a statement that there is a possibility to renew the truce in the Gaza Strip with Israel.

"The renewal of the truce should be agreed upon through a fair mediator, even if this mediator is European," Odwan said. "The truce should be agreed upon through a national accordance and full Israeli commitment."

Gaza militant groups, led by Hamas, want Israel to completely lift the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, including Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt, for ending rockets' attacks on Israel.

Source:Xinhua



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