Created on Thursday, 19 June 2008 19:23
Written by The Real News
Israel Confirms Cease-fire with Hamas
by The Real News
srael officially confirmed on Wednesday that the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire deal between the Israeli government and the Hamas would go into effect at 6 a.m. on Thursday. The period of calm is supposed to last six months. Officials on both sides were wary of the proposed deal but agreed to abide by it.
ZAA NKWETA (VOICEOVER), PRESENTER/PRODUCER: Israel
officially confirmed on Wednesday that the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire
deal between the Israeli government and the Palestinians would go into
effect at 6 a.m. on Thursday. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
stressed that the cease-fire, which was only agreed to for a duration
of six months, may only amount to a period of calm.
ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): We have no illusions,
what is called a calm. This calm is fragile and can be short-lived.
Hamas and the other terror organizations operating on its behalf have
not changed its spots and did not become peace seekers.
The ceasefire is meant to end a violent cycle of Palestinian rockets
and Israeli air and land strikes that have intensified over the last
year. Hamas confirmed its acceptance of the deal yesterday. Islamic
Jihad did so today.
DAWUB SHIHAB, ISLAMIC JIHAD SPOKESMAN
(SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): As long as Israel is committed to this period
of calm then so will we. We will then keep an eye on Israel's
implementation of the terms of the calm. We will not be an obstacle in
the way of implementing this deal for a calm, despite our reservations
on many of the conditions included in the text of the deal.
Israel has agreed to ease the blockade of Gaza next week if the
fighting stops on Thursday. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated that the
release of abducted Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit was an inseparable
part of the deal. Israeli defense officials speaking under condition of
anonymity stated that Israel would consider opening up the Rafah
border, the main gateway into Egypt, as a final phase of the deal.
Minutes after the fragile truce deal was confirmed, Palestinian
fighters belonging to Islamic Jihad fired six rockets and mortars from
the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, and 40 Qassam rockets hit the
western Negev. No one was injured.
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