Hamas told Egypt it would agree to a year-long renewable ceasefire in Gaza if Israel pulls out all its forces within 5-7 days and reopens border crossings immediately, Hamas and diplomatic sources said on Thursday.
The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Egypt has presented Hamas's position to Israel for its consideration. Israeli leaders were expected to make decisions on Thursday on the proposal, brought back from Cairo by their envoy.
In its proposal, Hamas demanded that the opening of all of Gaza's border crossings be guaranteed by Egypt and the international community.
Hamas told Egypt it was "open to the deployment of Turkish monitors" but objected to a proposal that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's presidential guard be stationed at the Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
Hamas also wants ceasefire to include a reconstruction conference.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, speaking earlier in Jerusalem, said the Israeli government was due to "make an important decision on a ceasefire" which he hoped would be the right one. Later he said it might take "a few more days."
The Palestinian death toll from the air-and-ground offensive was at least 1,105 with some 5,100 wounded, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza. A Palestinian rights group said about 700 of the dead were civilians.
In Damascus, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal reiterated his group's demands.
"First, the aggression must stop; second, the Israeli forces must withdraw from Gaza ... immediately, of course; thirdly, the siege must be lifted and fourth we want all crossing-points reopened, first of which is Rafah (Egypt)."
In Gaza, an Israeli air strike killed Hamas interior minister Saeed Seyyam at a house in Jabalya refugee camp, along with his son, brother and half a dozen others. Seyyam oversaw 13,000 Hamas police and security men.
Last Mod: 16 Ocak 2009, 09:17