RealNews

It's either a cease-fire or all-out war, Israel

While Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman was finalizing a document dubbed the Palestinian “National Project Plan” for all 12 Palestinian factions – including the Hamas – Israel sent messages to the Hamas through mediators after the elections saying that Israel would make goodwill gestures if an agreement is reached in Cairo for a cease-fire. But a second message, sent on Monday, included a warning to the Hamas that if the organization does not accept a cease-fire, Israel will declare war on the group. Sometime late this month, between an Arab summit and a planned meeting between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – and before the outbreak of an American-led war on Iraq – Cairo plans to convene the 12 Palestinian groups for their final answer to the document drafted by Suleiman, reported here for the first time. The document is supposed to put an end to the military aspects of the intifada and includes an unconditional one-year cease-fire against all Israeli targets inside the Green Line and the territories, including against soldiers and settlers. The document accepts the two-state solution and brings the Hamas and other opposition groups that hitherto refused to participate in Palestinian Authority politics into a Palestinian democracy, as it calls for general elections. Furthermore, while the document insists on the right of return, it says the refugee problem solution must be acceptable to both sides. If the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad sign onto the document, it would be a major shift in their dogma. Full Story

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