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Abbas calls for renewal of lull with Israel
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08:58, December 25, 2008

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described Wednesday the homemade rockets that Gaza militant groups fired at Israel as "absurd rockets" and called for the renewal of lull with Israel.

Abbas, who arrived in the holy city on Wednesday afternoon, will participate in the Christian celebrations of Christmas and attend the midnight mass prayers at the Church on Nativity in the city, where Jesus Christ was born.

Abbas told reporters that the situation now in the Gaza Strip "is very difficult and sad," adding "we don't want our people to live under danger and under blockade."

Abbas called on Islamic Hamas movement, which seized the Gaza Strip in mid June last year, to get back to the table to resume national dialogue in order to achieve national reconciliation.

Hamas had thwarted a possible dialogue, which was due to take place in Cairo on Nov. 10, under the umbrella of the Arab League.

Hamas movement was dissatisfied with the way how Egypt was running the mediation to achieve a Palestinian reconciliation. The Islamic movement is seeking for what it termed as "honest mediator."

"We would never accept an alternative mediator to Egypt. Egypt will continue its efforts to bring the leaders of the Palestinian factions again to Cairo to resume the dialogue," said Abbas.

Abbas stressed that the Palestinian National Authority "is exerting every possible effort to resume the dialogue and at the same time to renew a truce between the Palestinians and Israel in order to see a settled security situation."

A truce, brokered by Egypt between Israel and Gaza militant groups, had ended on Friday. Hamas leaders expressed readiness to renew the efforts to reach another truce with Israel.


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