Roee Nahmias
December 23, 2008 - 1:00am,7340,L-3643129,00.html

"We won't agree to an Israeli invasion in Gaza or even an aerial attack," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday during a joint press conference in Cairo with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The Palestinian president said Egypt will push for a new truce between Israel and Hamas, which controls the Strip, and referred to the rocket fire on the Jewish state as "foolish".

The six-month-old truce, mediated by Mubarak, expired last Friday.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is scheduled to come to Cairo Thursday for talks with Mubarak about a new truce.

Abbas also said he and Mubarak agreed that reconciliation talks between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah party should go forward.

Talks brokered by Egypt and slated to take place last November fell apart when Hamas pulled out at the last minute over a dispute with Fatah over releasing Hamas prisoners.

On Monday Mubarak invited Livni to Cairo in the hopes of preventing the further deterioration of the Gaza standoff.

Livni is expected to present Jerusalem's current stance, which holds that enough is enough – and that Israel is duty-bound to protect its citizens from the incessant rocket and mortar fire from Gaza.

"We will not allow the prolonged existence of a Hamastan state in Gaza," Livni said during a Kadima security convention in preperation for her visit to Egypt.

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar said Tuesday that his organization was willing to renew the truce in Gaza if Israel adheres to the terms that have been agreed upon last June.

Speaking with Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram, al-Zahar said that the movement would reassess the situation in Gaza once the 24 hours during which Hamas vowed to halt rocket fire come to an end.

According to the Hamas leader, if the situation appears to be going in a positive direction, the group would consider maintaining the lull.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017