Hamas Seeks Israeli Ceasefire

In unusual call to Israeli media, PM asks for end to strikes in Gaza
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2007 12:49 PM CST
Palestinian Prime Minister of the Hamas government in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh attends Eid-al-Adha prayers in Palestine Stadium in Gaza City, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007. Thousands of Palestinians gathered early...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The leader of Gaza’s Hamas party, weary of months of Israeli airstrikes and sanctions, has appealed for a ceasefire through Israeli media, the AP reports. "The occupation should stop its attacks and siege." In return, Hamas PM Ismail Haniya said in an unprecedented phone call to an Israeli TV station, "a truce would be possible, and not unlikely."

Israel's official stance is not to negotiate until Hamas—which blames the Islamic Jihad faction for continuing rocket attacks on Israel—recognizes the country, but support for a ceasefire has been growing within PM Ehud Olmert’s cabinet: The transportation minister suggested today that Israel might be willing to negotiate a truce through a third party.