Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad (L) and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The indirect cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas have been delayed until the last week of October, Hamas official Izzat al-Risheq announced on Tuesday.
He said that at Tuesday’s Egypt-sponsored talks in Cairo, the Palestinians and Israelis presented the issues they want to discuss during the upcoming negotiations, slated for next month.
Al-Risheq said the Palestinians’ issues included measures to consolidate the current cease-fire, building an airport and seaport and ending Israeli “punitive measures” imposed in the West Bank since June 12, such as the arrest of Hamas officials and prisoners released in the Gilad Schalit prisoner swap.
Earlier, the Palestinian delegation to the Cairo talks, which consists mainly of Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad representatives, suspended their participation in the discussions for three hours in protest against the IDF’s killing of the two Hebron men accused of kidnapping and murdering the three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last June.
The head of the Palestinian delegation, Azzam al-Ahmed, said that the talks would resume after the upcoming Jewish holidays. He said that on Wednesday the Palestinians and Israelis are expected to reach agreement on the agenda of the cease-fire talks.
Al-Ahmed said that Fatah and Hamas delegates are also scheduled to launch “reconciliation” talks in Cairo on Wednesday in another bid to end their dispute.
He said that the main issue hindering the implementation of previous reconciliation agreements between the two sides was the need to determine who is responsible for “making decisions about peace and war.” He added: “Fatah considers the decision over war and peace a national one and not a factional matter.”
Al-Ahmed also reiterated the need for Hamas to recognize the Palestinian “national consensus” government as the legitimate government of the Palestinians and the only party responsible for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>