Exiled Hamas leader: No truce with Israel unless siege lifted
www.chinaview.cn 2009-02-18 05:29:26   Print

Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts

    DAMASCUS, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Exiled Hamas politburo leader in Syria Khaled Meshaal said here Tuesday that there will be no truce with Israel unless it lifts the siege of and open the crossings with the Gaza Strip.

    Meshaal made the remarks when meeting with Arab League (AL) Secretary General Amr Moussa, according to the official SANA news agency.

    "There should be no linking between the truce and the issue of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit," Meshaal said, indicating that setting him free would be in return for release of captured Palestinians and detainees in Israeli jails.

    The Hamas leader said Israel is responsible for hindering the efforts to achieve the truce by adding new conditions at the last moment and by mixing the cases altogether.

    He also called on the international bodies to condemn the Israeli stance and pressure it to respond to the exerted efforts in this field, said the report.

    Moussa arrived here Monday on a visit as part of his efforts to the peace of the Arab states and also for preparation of the Arab foreign ministers meeting which paves the way for the regular Arab summit.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Moussa held a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem.

    Hamas announced Thursday night the group has accepted an 18-month truce with Israel in the Gaza Strip on condition that the enclave's six border crossings with Israel should be reopened and the Jewish country "stop military actions and aggressions in all forms."

    Yet outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Saturday that there is no truce with Hamas before the release of Shalit, who was captured by Hamas militants in a cross-border raid in June 2006.

    Hamas demanded Israel pardon more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners from its jails in exchange for Shalit's release. Israel refused the request for fear that some prisoners on the list might endanger the Jewish country. 

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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