Egypt FM: Hamas must stop rockets in any cease-fire agreement

Hamas must ensure rocket fire stops in any truce deal to halt Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Thursday, criticizing the Palestinian terrorists for giving Israel an excuse to launch the bombardment. He said Hamas's rocket attacks handed Israel the "opportunity on a golden platter" to launch the offensive, which Israel says aims to stop the barrages from Gaza. Aboul Gheit's comments came as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, part of a tour to work out an Egyptian-Turkish initiative to end the violence. The initiative calls for a halt to Israel's assault, a return to a Hamas-Israel truce and an international mechanism to ensure the opening of Gaza border crossings.