Mashaal offers to end rocket attacks

Leader-in-exile contacts Olmert via Qatari PM; Kassam hits Sderot; none wounded.

Mashaal 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
Mashaal 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Mashaal told Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani on Friday that Hamas was willing to stop firing Kassam rockets at Israel if Israel stopped targeting members of Hamas's armed wing. A Palestinian source told Israel Radio that Mashaal made his proposal to Thani in a phone conversation. The Qatari leader then contacted Olmert and informed him of what Mashaal had said. While Hamas has not fired any rockets at Israel for three days, attacks perpetrated by other armed Palestinian groups, such as Fatah, the Popular Resistance Committees, and Islamic Jihad, continue. One rocket damaged structures in Sderot Saturday morning, but no one was wounded in the attack. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum reiterated Friday that Hamas was not observing any cease-fire with Israel, and that Kassam attacks were part of his group's strategy of armed resistance.