Hamas agrees preliminary deal on Israel truce: Paper

Egypt has reached a preliminary agreement with Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls the Gaza Strip, on a truce with Israel, Egypt's state newspaper al-Ahram said on Tuesday.

Hamas agrees preliminary deal on Israel truce: Paper
"Egypt has reached a preliminary agreement with Hamas on the methods of achieving a period of calm with the Israelis, and (intelligence chief) Omar Suleiman will relay the results of these contacts and the principles of the agreement to Israel to reach a final agreement," the paper said.

Al-Ahram attributed the information to "an informed source", but the comments came in the context of comments by President Hosni Mubarak to Egyptian reporters accompanying him on a visit to France.

Mubarak told the reporters that a proposed Middle Eastern summit in Egypt could only be effective if attended by Israeli premier Ehud Olmert, as well as U.S. President George W. Bush and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Egypt had earlier said that a Middle East summit that could bring together Bush and Egyptian, Jordanian and Palestinian leaders in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in May was under discussion.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Friday Egypt was making good progress trying to negotiate a tacit ceasefire, including a prisoner exchange, between Israel and Hamas.

Aboul Gheit said the mediation plan called for a cessation of hostilities on both sides, a prisoner swap, and opening the border crossings between Israel and Gaza, which have been regularly blockaded by Israel.

Israel and the United States shun contacts with Hamas, but Washington has quietly given a nod for Egypt to negotiate with Hamas.

Last Mod: 23 Nisan 2008, 08:49
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