Hamas wants comprehensive truce

Hamas offered Israel a full truce.

Ahmed Youssef, a senior Hamas member and aide to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, said in an interview published Tuesday that Hamas could halt its rocket salvoes if Israel were to agree to extend a ceasefire, called in the Gaza Strip last November, to the West Bank.

“Israel’s agreement to extend the ceasefire to the West Bank would enable the government headed by Haniyeh to convince the groups to cease firing Qassam rockets. We have the tools to enable us to do this,” Yussuf told Haaretz. “We are interested in a comprehensive ceasefire, and the question is whether Israel is also interested.”

Israeli officials have made clear they consider the Gaza truce over. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Monday that Israel has to press its current military campaign against Hamas.

“We have to understand, as we have understood in the past, that sometimes a ceasefire is also a kind of illusion. And we need to understand that even during periods when there is apparently quiet, Hamas exploits it in order to build up its power,” she told reporters.

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