Hamas Pitches Deal for Gaza 'Calm'

Offer to Israel, through Egypt, also provides for eventual truce in West Bank
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 24, 2008 2:26 PM CDT
Palestinian school children hold a protest to break the siege on the Gaza Strip, in the town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Monday, April 21, 2008.    (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
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(Newser) – Meeting with Egyptian authorities, Hamas leaders today proposed a truce with Israel in the Gaza Strip and, eventually, the West Bank, Reuters reports. A Palestinian source said the group agreed to "a calm” in Gaza and, after a “specified period,” in the West Bank. The deal, supported by other militant groups, would require Israel to end blockades and military action in Gaza.

For its part, Israel was prepared for “quiet” in the area, but called for the Islamist faction to stop all attacks on Israelis and for all Palestinian groups to halt cross-border rocket attacks and weapons smuggling. “We can't have a period of quiet that will just be the quiet before the storm,” said a spokesman for Israel.