Islamic Jihad considers halting rocket-fire into Israel

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mahmoud Abbas visiting the US, in 2003.

The Palestinian group Islamic Jihad may stop firing rockets into Israel, following a request to that effect by President Mahmoud Abbas. Mr. Abbas met leaders of the group and urged them to halt the violence. "Abbas said the truce is a national necessity. We said the truce must be mutual ... and part of a national consensus." said Khedr Habib, an Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza.

The group's website quoted Khaled al-Batch, another leader of the group, as saying the proposal was "worth studying." While Islamic Jihad is not the only group to fire rockets across the border, it has repeatedly rejected calls to cease its actions. An Israeli woman was killed by a Qassam rocket in the town of Sderoth three days ago. Over 400 Palestinians, including many civilians, have been killed by attacks since June, which Israel says are aimed at Palestinian fighters.