Egypt delegation arrives in Gaza for talks with Hamas

By Nour Aisha

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – An Egyptian delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to discuss a proposed Hamas-Israel cease-fire with leading members of the Gaza-based resistance group, according to a Palestinian source close to the delegation.

The source, preferring anonymity, said that Ahmed Abdel Khaleq, the Egyptian intelligence official in charge of the Palestine file, had arrived in Gaza earlier Tuesday via the Israel-Gaza Beit Hanoun border crossing.

In earlier comments, Majid al-Fetani, a leading member of Fatah’s influential Revolutionary Council, told Anadolu Agency that delegation members were expected to visit Ramallah on Thursday to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Al-Fetani went on to stress his group’s desire to resolve the more-than-decade-long rift between Fatah and Hamas in the interests of the Palestinian national project.

In August, representatives of leading Palestinian factions met with Egyptian officials in Cairo to discuss proposals for Hamas-Fatah reconciliation, a proposed Hamas-Israel truce, and implementation of humanitarian projects in Gaza.

In October of last year, Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in Cairo that would — if implemented — allow the Ramallah government to administer Gaza, which has been governed by Hamas since 2007.

The agreement, however, has yet to come into effect due to a host of deep-seated differences — mostly ideological — between the two rival factions.