(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to visit Cairo Wednesday for talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi on the latest developments in the Gaza Strip.
Abbas's visit comes as Hamas rejected Tuesday the Egyptian brokered ceasefire that was accepted by Israel.
A PA official in Ramallah said that Abbas’s visit to Cairo is aimed at ensuring the success of the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Abbas is also expected to visit Ankara later this week for talks with Turkish leaders on the current crisis.
Abbas has welcomed the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, which was published on Tuesday evening, urging all parties to abide by its terms.
The official said that during his visit to Cairo, Abbas would propose that his security forces be permitted to regain control over the Rafah border crossing.
Hamas had staunchly opposed placing the border crossing under the control of Abbas loyalists.
The Rafah terminal was under the control of the PA security forces until 2007, when Hamas seized full control over the Gaza Strip.
It’s not clear at this stage if Hamas would agree to the return of Abbas’s loyalists to the terminal.
Abbas’s visit to Egypt and Turkey comes in the aftermath of the opposition of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to the Egyptian ceasefire plan.
The two groups have dismissed the proposal and vowed to continue the fight against Israel.
Hamas’ armed wing, Ezaddin al-Qassam, issued a statement early Wednesday in which it said that it categorically rejects the Egyptian plan.
“If its contents are true, the Egyptian initiative is an initiative for surrender and capitulation,” the statement said. “For us, this initiative is not worth the ink it was written with.”
The Islamic Jihad also rejected the Egyptian proposal, saying it does not meet the demands of the Palestinians and the conditions set by the Palestinian groups.
“After reviewing the Egyptian initiative concerning the war on the Gaza Strip, Islamic Jihad declares that it appreciates any effort to stop the aggression on our people,” the group said in a statement. “We have notified the Egyptians of the group’s refusal to accept this initiative. Therefore, we are not bound by this initiative and we will continue our operations to defend our people against this despicable Zionist aggression.”