Egypt sees progress in ceasefire talks with Hamas

But official tells 'Post' Iran exerting heavy pressure on Hamas to avoid signing any truce with Israel.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
January 12, 2009 03:13
1 minute read.
Egypt sees progress in ceasefire talks with Hamas

saeed jalili 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
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An official Egyptian news agency reported that significant progress has been made in Cairo's effort to draft a ceasefire agreement that was palatable to Hamas, Sunday overnight. On Monday, Hamas leaders from Damascus, Syria and from Gaza will arrive in Egypt to discuss the draft. Earlier, two Hamas officials who were in Egypt discussing the Egyptian truce efforts left for Damascus in order to discuss the offer with the terror group's leaders there. A Lebanese TV network reported that there was agreement in principle between Egypt, Hamas and Turkey to place Turkish observers on the Gaza-Egypt border. The Saudi-based Al Arabiya reported that an adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was present in Cairo when the Hamas delegation discussed the ceasefire agreement with Egypt. However, an Egyptian official told The Jerusalem Post that Iran was exerting heavy pressure on Hamas not to accept the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire with Israel. The Egyptian official said that the two Iranian emissaries, Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Iranian Parliament, and Said Jalili of the Iranian Intelligence Service, met in the Syrian capital with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ramadan Shallah. "The Iranians threatened to stop weapons supplies and funding to the Palestinian factions if they agreed to a cease-fire with Israel. The Iranians want to fight Israel and the US indirectly. They are doing this through Hamas in Palestine and Hizbullah in Lebanon," the official told the Post. Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report

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