'Haniyeh in Cairo to complain of Israeli violations'

Hamas PM intends to discuss complaints of Israel's compliance with the truce brokered by Egypt, according to AFP.

March 31, 2013 02:38
1 minute read.
Ismail Haniyeh in Egypt

Ismail Haniyeh in Egypt, talking_311. (photo credit: Reuters)


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Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh traveled to Cairo on Saturday to discuss complaints the movement has regarding Israel's compliance with the truce brokered by Egypt following Operation Pillar of Defense, AFP reported.

According to the report, the Hamas administration's spokesman Taher al-Nunu said Haniyeh would be discussing "Israeli violations of the truce."

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The discussion will follow a complaint already made by Hamas to Egypt last week after Israel suspended part of a Cairo-brokered truce agreement by halving Palestinian access to fishing waters in response to a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip.

The attack was claimed by a small al-Qaida-linked faction that has challenged the Islamist Hamas group's rule in the Gaza Strip.

Israel, which holds Hamas responsible for any violence emanating from the enclave, retaliated by shutting the Kerem Shalom commercial crossing on the Gaza border - which it re-opened this week - and by enforcing a newly restricted 5 km wide fishing zone.

The zone had been extended to 11 km as part of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that ended an eight-day conflict between Israel and Hamas in November, in which 166 Palestinians and six Israelis were killed.

"We have informed Cairo of this violation and we are waiting to hear a clear position from Egyptian mediators on this," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said last week, giving no indication that Hamas wanted to abandon the ceasefire arrangement.

An Egyptian official confirmed that the Hamas complaint had been received, saying Israel had complained separately about the rocket attack - the second of its kind since November.

The official said Cairo would contact both sides to "restore their commitment to the truce."

Nunu also said that the Hamas leader would be discussing "the problem of (Palestinian) prisoners (held by Israel) and Hamas-Egypt relations," according to AFP.

Additionally, AFP cited Hamas sources as saying that Haniyeh intends to "clear the air" following Egyptian allegations of Hamas involvement in a border attack that left 15 Egyptian soldiers dead in the Sinai Peninsula last year.

Reconciliation efforts between Hamas and Fatah were also expected to be discussed during Haniyeh's visit.

Reuters contributed to this report

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