Abbas Urges Approval of Gaza Ceasefire

'Israel accepted the ceasefire proposal. We must also accept it so that we can put the Israeli side at unease.'


PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas on Friday urged support for an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire proposal in Gaza, as he held talks with Turkey's leaders on a brief stopover after a visit to Cairo.

"Israel accepted the ceasefire proposal. We (the Palestinians) must also accept it so that we can put the Israeli side at unease," Abbas told a news conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Istanbul in comments translated from Arabic into Turkish.

Egypt-mediated talks to end the escalating Gaza Strip conflict have faltered amid Israeli plans to widen its ground operation Gaza, a Palestinian territory ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement.

Abbas voiced support for the ceasefire proposal which he said was floated by "our Egyptian brothers at our request".

Turkey, a staunch critic of the Israeli assaults in Gaza, is pressing for involvement of Hamas in any negotiations for a ceasefire.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood from power last year, has sought to isolate Hamas and initially demanded that the militants unconditionally accept its truce.