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Sunday, February 13, 2005
Hamas, Jihad Commit to Truce Provided Israel Reciprocates[Mechanism to attack Israel if Israel acts]

Hamas, Jihad Commit to Truce Provided Israel Reciprocates[Mechanism to
attack Israel if Israel acts]
13 February 2005

Palestine Media Center - PMC [Official PA website]
www.palestine-pmc.com/details.asp?cat=1&id=796

[IMRA: ""We had talked about self-defence, and now we have drawn up a
mechanism to meet with the PNA in case there is an Israeli violation,"
adding that if the Israeli aggression "is an invasion or an assassination"
then "the retaliation would be as the movement used to react," Zahhar said."

= Any action by Palestinians to murder Israelis will be termed "renegade
action" and if the IDF defends itself against "renegade action" there will
be Palestinian retaliation. For example, if terrorists come up to Israelis
and prepare to attack - or even attack - and Israelis tries to stop the
"renegades" and kill or even wound them then it is OK for the Palestinians
to "retaliate".]

During two separate meetings with the Palestinian Islamic resistance
movements Hamas and Jihad in Gaza City on Saturday, President Mahmoud Abbas
(Abu Mazen) secured the adherence of both anti-Israeli occupation groups to
an informal cooling-off period, pending a final commitment to a formal truce
or ceasefire that depends in its entirety on Israel's reciprocity.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad said on Saturday they were adhering to a de facto
cooling-off period with Israel, but stopped short of committing to the
official ceasefire that Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed
on at their summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh last
Tuesday.

Both groups had already agreed to halt attacks two weeks before Tuesday's
summit.

Hamas was represented by Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, Ismail Haniyyah and Nizar Rayyan
and the Islamic Jihad by Mohammad Al-Hindi and Nafez Azzam.

Zahhar and Azzam said after the meeting that Hamas will convey the
understandings reached with Abbas to the movements' leaders at home and
abroad.

"Hamas' position regarding calm will continue unchanged and Israel will bear
responsibility for any new violation or aggression," Ismail Haniyyah, a
senior leader of Hamas told Reuters after talks with Abbas.

Haniyyah said that Abbas presented to Hamas "a detailed briefing" on all his
recent visits and contacts, including the Sharm el-Sheikh summit.

He described what Abbas suggested at the meeting as "convincing and
satisfies the demands of the resistance factions."

"We can build on what Abu Mazen presented to develop a stance vis-a-vis the
truce, a stance that is still premature," he said.

On his part, Zahhar told a press conference that Hamas agreed with the PNA
on a mechanism of co-ordination.

"Up to this moment, we are committed to the previous agreement with Mr.
Abbas, and we are going to see how the Israelis" will act, Zahhar told the
AP.

Zahhar said Hamas would wait to see whether Israel stops its military
attacks, and extra-judicial killings of Palestinian anti-occupation
activists before deciding whether to join the truce agreed upon by Abbas and
Sharon.

Hamas was "committed to what is called 'quietness'" until it determines
whether Israel meets its truce obligations, including disclosing the
criteria for releasing Palestinian prisoners," he added.

"We had talked about self-defence, and now we have drawn up a mechanism to
meet with the PNA in case there is an Israeli violation," adding that if the
Israeli aggression "is an invasion or an assassination" then "the
retaliation would be as the movement used to react," Zahhar said.

Noting that Hamas had expected Abbas to obtain "guarantees", which he would
discuss with the Palestinian factions, he added that Hamas seeks "to
establish a relationship based on understanding and dialogue" with the PNA.

Similarly, Islamic Jihad's leading spokesman Nafez Azzam confirmed that his
movement is still committed to the "calming down" of the situation, but "not
to a truce or a ceasefire, until discussed with the movement's leadership at
home and abroad."

Presidential secretary general Al-Tayeb Abdul-Rahim said ahead of the
meetings that: "He (Abbas) will inform the factions of the positive results
that were achieved in the successful summit in Sharm El-Sheikh," said
Abdul-Rahim.

"I believe most of the results they demanded have been achieved in that
successful summit," he added.

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