Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at a meeting in Ramallah on March 19, 2018.
(photo credit: PPO)
Egyptian intelligence officials met in Ramallah on Thursday with leaders of the Palestinian ruling Fatah faction. The talks focused on ways of ending the ongoing dispute between Fatah and Hamas and the financial crisis facing the Palestinian Authority.
The Egyptian delegation was headed by senior General Intelligence Service officials Ayman Badi’ and Ahmed Abdel Khaleq.
The Fatah team included Azzam al-Ahmed, Rouhi Fattouh, Hussein al-Sheikh and Majed Faraj, head of the PA General Intelligence Service.
The Egyptian security team’s visit to Ramallah came amid reports that Cairo has decided to resume its efforts to solve the Fatah-Hamas rivalry, especially in wake of US President Donald Trump’s plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the “Deal of the Century,” the official PA news agency Wafa reported.
It said that strengthening Palestinian unity was needed “in light of the challenges and dangers facing the Palestinian cause, as well as attempts to liquidate it.”
The agency said the two sides also discussed the financial crisis in the PA resulting from Israel’s deduction of payments made by the PA to families of security prisoners and “martyrs” from tax revenues collected in behalf of the Palestinians.
On Wednesday, Faraj visited Cairo, where he met with his Egyptian counterpart, Gen. Abbas Kamel.
Hamas denied on Thursday reports that the Egyptian intelligence officials were also expected to arrive in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif Qanou wanred that the truce understandings with Israel were at stake following the killing of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Adham earlier in the day by the IDF.
Holding Israel responsible for the killing of al-Adham, a member of Hamas’s military wing, Qanou called for an end to “Israeli crimes,” saying they jeopardize the understandings reached under the auspices of Egypt and the United Nations.
The IDF said that al-Adham, who belonged to Hamas’s “control force,” was following two Palestinians who approached the border with Israel. “In retrospect, it appears that the IDF force that arrived at the incident identified the Hamas activist as an armed terrorist and fired at him by mistake,” read a statement by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, adding that the incident will be further investigated.
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