Abbas: PA working for Gaza truce

Follows Al-Hayat report of Israel's offer to Hamas to increase border crossing flexibility.

troops gaza border 224.8 (photo credit: AP)
troops gaza border 224.8
(photo credit: AP)
"The Palestinian Authority is working hard to secure a ceasefire in Gaza, with the help of the Egyptian leadership," said PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday. Following a cabinet meeting in Ramallah, Abbas emphasized that the ceasefire would end the bloodshed and the blockade, and would secure the interests of Gazans. Abbas also discussed his upcoming visit to the United States and Russia. "We want to talk with the Americans and the Russians about the future and on moving the peace process forward. With the Russians we will mostly talk about the [proposed] Moscow summit." Earlier Monday, London's Al-Hayat newspaper quoted Palestinian sources as saying that Israel proposed to the Palestinians a ceasefire in Gaza in exchange for a promise that the Jewish state will soften its position regarding border-crossings. Israel promised new flexibility on border crossings, including the Rafah crossing, in exchange for an end to rocket fire into Israel, and after a trial period ensuring the Palestinians keep to the agreement, said the report. The ceasefire, which was brokered by Egypt, will last from six months to a year, Al-Hayat continued. The paper quoted Palestinian sources as saying that Hamas had agreed to the deal. However, it said that the Islamic Jihad and Abbas, as well as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) had refused it, demanding that the hudna be applied also to the West Bank. According to the report, "Israel refuses to include the West Bank in the ceasefire because it is divided into three areas, and the situation there is very complicated."