CAIRO: An Egyptian security delegation has arrived in the Gaza Strip to hold talks with the leadership of Hamas about developments in the territory and the truce understanding with Israel.
Palestinian sources said a delegation from the Egyptian intelligence service arrived in Gaza through the Beit Hanoun checkpoint, which is under the control of Israel, on a visit that would last for several hours.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the visit of the Egyptian security delegation was in the context of continuous communications between Hamas and Cairo to discuss many issues, the most important of which is arranging the Palestinian house to achieve reconciliation with Fatah.
“We are interested in achieving reconciliation, and we welcome the Egyptian effort in this issue and we are working to make it a success,” Qassem said.
“The Egyptian delegation is discussing the file of lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip and confirming understanding with those occupying it in light of the disavowal of their implementation, in addition to discussing bilateral relations between Egypt and Hamas,” he said.
“We welcome any international or regional visit that would help lift the siege on Gaza and take over the difficult humanitarian conditions that the residents of the Strip are experiencing due to the ongoing Israeli blockade for 14 years,” he said.
“Everyone is required, whether at the international or regional level, to move toward pressuring the occupation to stop the siege on Gaza, which has worsened in an unprecedented way in light of the spread of the coronavirus.”
Sources said that the issue of the Palestinian reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas was at the top of discussions between the two sides. They said that the Egyptian security delegation also discussed current relations between Hamas and Israel, especially with Israel disavowing its pledges to bring in Palestinian merchants and workers and establish projects to employee youths. This was in addition to discussing the prisoner exchange issue, especially as Hamas had stipulated that Israel release all prisoners of the Shalit prisoner exchange deal who were rearrested by Israel.
Egypt is intensifying its efforts to end the Palestinian division between the Fatah and Hamas movements, and it is also seeking calm between the occupation authorities and the Palestinian movements to defuse the escalation and tension between the two sides.
The last visit of the Egyptian security delegation to the Gaza Strip was on Sept. 10, during which the delegation discussed with Hamas the indirect understandings about the occupation and some common issues between the two parties.
On Aug. 31, Hamas announced that an understanding to contain escalation had been reached with Israel in the Gaza Strip after three weeks of tension.
Egypt is brokering an indirect cease-fire understanding between the Palestinian factions in Gaza and Israel, and also to introduce facilities for the Israeli blockade imposed on the Strip since mid-2007.
Recently intensive talks have taken place between Hamas and Fatah in Cairo headed by Fatah Movement Secretary-General Jibril Rajoub and by Hamas Deputy Head of the Political Bureau Salah Al-Arouri. However, after the Palestinian Authority resumed security coordination with Israel, it led to a communication crisis.
The health crisis in Gaza in recent days due to COVID-19 has led to an increase in contact between mediators, Hamas and Israel.