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Palestinian Groups Reject International Gaza Force

  • VOA News

Syrian-based Palestinian militant groups including Hamas have rejected the deployment of international troops or observers in the Gaza Strip.

The groups also turned down security arrangements that in their words "undermine the resistance against Israel."

They outlined their position in a statement issued after a meeting Saturday in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

The statement came after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged Hamas, which controls Gaza, to accept an Egyptian cease-fire deal. Mr. Abbas called the Egyptian plan the "only mechanism" that can end the fighting in Gaza.

He spoke after holding talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo.

Hamas has sent a delegation to Cairo to discuss the Egyptian proposal. It calls for a temporary truce to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza and could lead to a more long-term cease-fire. Israeli officials visited Cairo a few days ago.

Israel and Hamas have dismissed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel will continue its operation as long as rockets are being fired at Israeli civilians. Hamas has vowed not to accept a cease-fire plan that does not end Israel's offensive in Gaza and its blockade of the territory.

Our Dhaka stringer informs us that Bangladesh has protested the Israeli attack on Gaza in a meeting held at Geneva


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