'Israel offers Hamas, Jihad 1-yr truce'

Egyptian officials reportedly relay proposal to groups' reps during Rafah talks; J'lem denies making offer.

Kassam cell fab 224.88 (photo credit: Channel 1)
Kassam cell fab 224.88
(photo credit: Channel 1)
Israel has proposed to ensure a period of calm in the Gaza Strip of up to a year if terrorists stop firing rockets, Egyptian officials reportedly told Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives during a meeting at the Rafah border crossing on Saturday night. Al Hayat reported Sunday morning that the Egyptians said that even though Israel believes a truce should ideally only involve Gaza, Egypt felt there was a willingness on the Israeli side to agree to a comprehensive, mutual period of calm that also included the West Bank. The London-based newspaper went on to say that the Egyptians also told Hamas that Israel was prepared to show some flexibility regarding the Gaza crossings. Egypt reportedly asked the Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives to discuss the proposal and respond within a few days. Nevertheless, Jerusalem officials told Israel Radio that Israel's stance regarding any period of calm was clear, saying that there was no agreement whatsoever with Hamas and no negotiations over a truce.