International Affairs

Hamas willing to sing ceasefire accord; China asks Israel to halt attacks

DAKAR: Hamas expressed its willingness to sing a ceasefire accord with Israel for Gaza to halt its attacks on the territory. Senegal’s Foreign Ministry stated in a statement that Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has said that he is ready to sign a ceasefire agreement for Gaza.

He showed his willingness on a telephone call made by Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, current President of the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). ‘The Hamas leader said he was ready to sign such an accord in a place to be chosen by common consent between the two sides,’ the ministry said in a statement.

It said Wade was proposing “a definitive truce between Israel and Hamas through the signing of an agreement that engages Hamas in the immediate observation of a ceasefire in exchange for an immediate ceasefire by Israel accompanied by a total lifting of the blockade on Gaza”.

The statement gave no more details. In a separate statement, Wade condemned the Israeli air strikes on Gaza as ‘unacceptable’. ‘The acting president of the OIC demands that Israel immediately stop the air bombardments and abstains from all attacks on the Palestinian territory.’

Meanwhile China has demanded Israel to halt immediately its on going attacks on Gaza saying it is shocked by Israel’s attack that has killed nearly 300 people. Vice Premier Li Keqiang said in a statement on Monday that the Middle East peace process must continue and that “realistic measures to ease the tension in Gaza” should be carried out.

The appeal comes as Israel widened its air offensive that began on Saturday against Gaza. China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has traditionally supported the Palestinian cause. “China supports the efforts made by all parties, especially the Arab countries, to realise a comprehensive, just peace in the region,” Li said.-SANA

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Noreen Gill

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