Palestinian negotiator in Cairo slams Israel for leaking reports of truce extension

Azzam al-Ahmad, a Palestinian Authority official, said that “all the reports of an extension of the cease-fire are based on Israeli sources."

August 7, 2014 12:31
1 minute read.
Azzam al-Ahmad and Ismail Haniyeh.

Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad (L) and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The head of the Palestinian delegation to cease-fire talks in Cairo said on Thursday that no agreement has been reached over extending the three-day old truce in Gaza.

Azzam al-Ahmad, a Palestinian Authority official, said  “all the reports of an extension of the cease-fire are based on Israeli sources, which means there is no agreement on the extension of a cease-fire.”

Al-Ahmad accused the Israeli government of seeking to sabotage the talks by leaking reports about a cease-fire extension.

“The goal of these reports is to sabotage the talks taking place between the Palestinian team and Egypt,” he said. “There is no truce agreement beyond the original 72 hours. We have until Friday morning to negotiate.”

Ismail Haniyeh, the deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, said earlier on Thursday that there is no extension of the cease-fire.

Hamas warned Wednesday that it would resume its attacks on Israel unless Jerusalem accepts all Palestinian demands, first and foremost the lifting of the siege and release of prisoners who were rearrested in the West Bank.

The warning came as representatives of the two groups held additional talks in Cairo with Egyptian officials on ways of solidifying the 72-hour cease-fire, which began Tuesday morning.

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, said the Palestinian delegation to the Cairo discussions, which also consisted of representatives of Fatah and other Palestinian factions, claimed that the US was exerting pressure on the Palestinians to agree to the extension of the cease-fire “in order to save Israel’s reputation.”

Hamdan told the Al Jazeera TV network that the “options of the Palestinian resistance groups are open if there is no progress” in the talks.

He said the Palestinian groups have sent a message to Israel that “our finger is still on the trigger” if the Palestinian demands are not met.

“Our rockets are still ready to hit all areas [inside Israel],” he added.

According to senior official Musa Abu Marzouk, "There is no agreement to extend the 72-hour cease-fire.

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