Israel calls offer 'a positive change'
October 7, 1997
Web posted at: 10:43 a.m. EDT (1443 GMT) In this story:
* Offer to end suicide bombings
* Palestinian-Israeli peace talks resume
* Related stories and sites
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (CNN) -- Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual leader of the Islamic fundamentalist movement Hamas, said Tuesday he would forge a truce with Israel that would end suicide bombings if Israel withdrew completely from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and removed all of its Jewish settlements.
"If Israel withdraws completely from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and it removes all of its settlements, I will make a truce with it. You have my word for it," he said.
David Bar-Illan, a senior aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the peace overture was "a positive change" despite the "unacceptable conditions."
In the past, militants within Hamas have never indicated a willingness to negotiate. Instead, they have spoken of a "holy war" to establish an Islamic state in all of what is now Israel. more