Palestinian FM sees Gaza ceasefire 'very close'

Hamas-controlled Gaza, a strip of land bordering southern Israel, is close to declaring a ceasefire under a deal proposed by Egyptian mediators, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said Wednesday in Spain.

Palestinian FM sees Gaza ceasefire 'very close'
"I think we are very close to announcing a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip that will allow the blockade of the border area to be lifted and also end Israeli incursions and the launch rockets of Hamas into southern Israel," he told a conference in Madrid.

Malki was speaking one day before US President George W. Bush is to hold talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in Washington as part of diplomatic efforts to try to revive the flagging Mideast peace process.

Israel tightened its restrictions on the Gaza Strip, causing shortages in food and gas and other key commodities.

Border crossings in the territory of about 1.4 million people have been closed.

Israel regularly carries out airstrikes and military incursions in Gaza.

Agencies
Last Mod: 23 Nisan 2008, 14:18
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