- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 23, 2003

CAIRO Representatives of all major Palestinian factions are close to an agreement that could temporarily halt attacks on Israeli civilians within their pre-1967 lands, a factional leader said yesterday.
The proposed cease-fire would be for one year, according to Egyptian sources, although the more radical Palestinian groups were said to want a shorter time frame.
The Palestinian groups have been meeting on and off in Cairo in what has been billed as an Egyptian-mediated effort to coordinate policy toward Israel.
A leading figure in one of the radical Palestinian movements, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, revealed details of the until-now secret plan in an interview.
He said there were preconditions before any cease-fire would go into effect, including that Israel release Palestinian prisoners and agree to halt its "targeted killings" of those suspected of being militants and attacks on their homes.
Under the proposed deal, he said, Palestinians would stop attacks on civilians for a limited time inside territory held by Israel before 1967.
The source made it clear that all Jews living in, traveling through or involved in military operations within the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem would be considered legitimate targets for bombings and shootings.
It seemed highly unlikely that Israel would agree to the sort of conditions being considered in Cairo. However, an agreement would mark progress by the Palestinians in bringing their greatly divided factions together on a single position.
A leader of Hamas, Abdelaziz al-Rantisi, said late last week that the Cairo talks would not go ahead at all because not all the factions had been invited.
He accused the Egyptian authorities of leaving out certain groups, including the Damascus, Syria-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, led by Ahmed Jibril.


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