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Hamas Says Sees Israeli Shift But Not Enough (REUTERS) CAIRO, EGYPT 02/02/05 06:54 PM ET)Source: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=7518956 Reuters News Service Reuters News Service Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
CAIRO (Reuters) - The exiled leader of the militant group Hamas said on Thursday that Israel had adjusted its position on a truce but not enough to satisfy Hamas.

"It seems there is some change in the Israeli position but we need real precision. The matter requires to be pursued further and to be examined more closely," Khaled Meshaal told Reuters after talks with Egyptian officials.

Meshaal met Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman on Wednesday evening after Suleiman came back from a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Meshaal declined to give details of the change in the Israeli position.

Suleiman invited Sharon to a summit meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh next Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. King Abdullah of Jordan is also invited.

Abbas has arranged a de facto truce from Hamas and other factions waging a 4-year-old uprising and Israel has responded to the lull by reducing military operations.

But militants have a long list of demands before declaring any formal cease-fire. While Israel has ruled out an agreement with the factions, it has said it would "meet calm with calm."

Meshaal repeated two of Hamas´s basic conditions -- that Israel release Palestinian detainees and agree to stop attacks on Hamas and its leadership.

"We reaffirmed our conditions," he said.

A delegation from another militant group, Islamic Jihad, is also in Cairo for similar talks but Meshaal said those talks were separate and he could not say how they were going.

Meshaal said he was staying in Cairo for more talks but declined to give a detailed timetable. (© Reuters 2005 02/02/05)


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