|Abbas claims deal to end rocket attacks|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Wednesday, 18 April 2007 17:00|
|The deal has been denied by the Syrian-sponsored terrorist organization Islamic Jihad, but Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has claimed that he has successfully brokered a deal with Hamas and other groups to end rocket attacks against Israel. Since the Gaza disengagement in August 2005, Palestinian terrorists have fired Kassam rockets at Israeli towns on a daily basis. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal told Russian President Putin that his group was prepared to halt the rocket attacks against Israel, if the international community lifted the economic boycott of Hamas. President Abbas also urged terrorist organizations to end the "useless rockets". Mahmoud Abbas is currently on a tour of the European Union, enlisting support for the Palestinian unity government. |
Quote: "Amr said Hamas was gradually coming round to meeting the international community's demands to recognize Israel and he hoped this would convince the West that Palestinians were really seeking lasting peace. "We hope that these countries will understand that this is the significance of the unity government," he said. Asked if Abbas's efforts to convince the Europeans were bringing results, Amr said: "Progress is not yet great. (But) more and more European countries -- Spain, France and Norway -- are normalizing relations with this government."
In other news, members of the Arab League have formed a contact group that will negotiate with Israel over the Arab peace initiative. Israeli President Ehud Olmert announced earlier in the month that Israel was willing to make contact with the Arab League in order to discuss the "peace offer". The group consists of just Egypt and Jordan, both of which already have peace agreements with Israel. But according to the Saudis, it seems the Arab League will be doing the talking and Israel the listening.
Quote: "Egypt and Jordan - which have had ties with Israel since 1979 and 1994 respectively - will try to initiate direct talks with Israel, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said. They will "call on the Israeli government and all Israelis to accept the Arab peace initiative and to take this chance to resume the direct and serious talks on all levels", he said at a news conference in Cairo.