'Al-Hayat': Hamas pulls demand on W. Bank calm

Sources in group say it was "forced" to agree in principle to ceasefire in the Gaza Strip only.

Mahmoud Zahar 248.88 ap (photo credit: AP [file])
Mahmoud Zahar 248.88 ap
(photo credit: AP [file])
Hamas has reneged on its demand that a ceasefire with Israel include both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, London-based Al-Hayat reported Wednesday. The paper quoted sources in the organization as saying the group had "been forced" to agree in principal to a ceasefire which would apply to Gaza only. Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Zahar were heading to Cairo on Wednesday for talks with Egyptian mediators, the paper reported. The two were also set to meet with former US president Jimmy Carter during their stay there. Meanwhile, Hamas on Tuesday reassured the Egyptians that the movement had no plans to breach the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Egyptian political and security officials have repeatedly warned Hamas over the past few days that Cairo would not tolerate another breach of its border. Over the weekend, the Egyptians sent a "final warning" to the Hamas leadership and beefed up its security presence along the border with the Gaza Strip, the officials said. "Hamas does not have any plans to knock down the border or target Egyptian border guards," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. "All [that] has been published in this regard is based on rumors. We believe that Israel is behind these rumors." Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.