Hamas Truce 'Not Serious': Israel

But militants stopping rocket fire could bring de facto ceasefire in Gaza, official says
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2008 3:27 PM CDT
Palestinian Hamas supporters gather near the destroyed border wall during a protest calling on Egypt to re-open the border and Israel to end its economic blockade in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on the...   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Israel said a Hamas truce proposal yesterday was not genuine, and the Islamist organization would only regroup and strengthen itself during the 6-month ceasefire, AFP reports. "Unfortunately, this appears not to be serious at all," an Israeli spokesman said today, although officials said a prolonged halt in the near-daily rocket attacks launched from the Gaza Strip could convince them otherwise.

Citing the humanitarian crisis caused by an Israeli blockade, Hamas said that if Israel rejects the truce, Egypt would open its border with Gaza—though the Egyptian government, which has assumed the role of mediator, declined comment on the claim. Hamas opened the border in January, and after resealing it, angry Cairo officials said they would "break the legs" of trespassers.