Islamic Jihad may halt rocket attacks

Says Israel must stop "attacking" Palestinians; Kuwaiti paper: Hamas ready to rescind Gaza control.

emir qatar 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
emir qatar 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Islamic Jihad is willing to stop firing rockets at Israel if Israel stops its attacks in Gaza, Al-Quds Brigades spokesman Abu Hamza said Monday. In an interview to the Palestinian Ramatan news agency, Abu Hamza stressed that if there were a "national Palestinian consensus" that it refrain from targeting Israel, the group would abide by it. "We are willing to stop shooting rockets if all the Palestinian factions reach an agreement [to do so], and if Israel promises to stop its attacks against Palestinian citizens." According to Abu Hamza, the Islamic Jihad was considering a proposal made by another Palestinian faction - which he did not identify - that it stop rocket attacks in return for the aforementioned demand. In related news, following mediation by several groups, Hamas has agreed to transfer control of the Gaza Strip back to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Kuwaiti-based daily Al-Kabas reported Monday. According to the report, based on "reliable Palestinian sources," the proposal includes Hamas rescinding control of the Strip's various security installations. The mediation efforts reportedly began several days ago primarily by Qatari officials, headed by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. During a meeting in Qatar's capital Doha between Thani and Hamas's leader Khaled Mashaal "significant progress" was made, according to the report. Abbas, the paper further claimed, conditioned the agreement on Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayad remaining in power until parliamentary and presidential elections. Hamas agreed to Abbas's conditions, Al-Kabas reported. Already three weeks ago, Haniyeh hinted that his group would eventually rescind control of Gaza. "Our rule in Gaza is temporary. We have made progress in reconciliatory talks with Fatah," Haniyeh then said.