Israel is seriously considering a ceasefire offer made by Hamas
delivered by Egyptian mediators, local media reported on
Hamas proposed to stop all attacks from the Gaza Strip once
Israeli army halts its strike against the coastal enclave, Israeli
Channel 10 news reported.
The Islamic movement also vowed to force other Gaza terror
groups to comply with the eventual deal, which would not apply to
the West Bank, Channel 10 said.
Some 10 Israeli officials were purportedly in contact with the
group over the offer submitted by Egyptian mediators.
Also on Thursday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a raid in
the central Gaza Strip in an effort to stem the continuing rocket
fire at the western Negev, killing at least five Palestinian
An Israeli soldier was seriously wounded in the operation.
The strike came after Israeli Transportation Minister Shaul
Mofaz said Wednesday that Israel would accept the "mediation" with
Hamas in an effort to stop rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
On Tuesday, Hamas leader Ismail Haneya told Israeli Channel 2
that he was prepared to negotiate an end to the rocket attacks and
Israel has stepped up ground and air operations in the past few
days against Islamic Jihad (Holy War). The IDF launched an
offensive in Gaza from Monday to Tuesday that left 11 Islamic Jihad
and Hamas militants dead.
(Xinhua News Agency December 21, 2007)