Hamas talks with factions over Gaza calm

11:04, April 04, 2010      

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Leaders of Gaza-ruling Islamic Hamas movement on Saturday night held an urgent meeting in Gaza with various Palestinian factions' leaders aimed at reducing tension on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

A well-informed source close to Hamas told Xinhua in condition of anonymity that the urgent meeting is "a new strong gesture to reduce the tension on Gaza-Israel border, including rocket attacks on the Jewish state."

"The participants, including leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad movement and left-wing groups, agreed on certain tactics to avoid a possible Israeli army retaliation that might harm the Palestinians' interests," said the source.

Saleh Zeidan, a senior leader in the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), told Xinhua that "resistance is a legal right, and it is the right of the factions to defend their people."

However, he said that the conferees "saw that confronting the Israeli threats and the military escalation need an in-advance coordination among all the factions of resistance, and need to reinforce unity among them."

"Today's meeting focused on Palestinian issues of internal interests and reiterated that the Palestinians should intensify their efforts to succeed the Egyptian efforts to achieve inter- Palestinian reconciliation," said Zeidan.

Meanwhile, Salah al-Bardaweel, a senior Hamas leader who attended the meeting, told Xinhua that the meeting "discussed the current tension on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel."

"The meeting studied the ways of how to confront any upcoming Israeli retaliation by all possible means," said al-Bardaweel.

On Friday, the deposed government of Hamas called on the Palestinian factions' armed wings for self-restraint following nine successive Israeli airstrikes on Thursday night on different targets in the Gaza Strip.

The government did not slam the rocket attack on Israel by Gaza militants, but deposed Prime Minister of Hamas Ismail Haneya said on Friday that his government holds contacts with leaders of factions to restore calm and reinforce unity.



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