Fatah, Hamas to begin truce talks

Delegation of several Palestinian groups arrives in Cairo to discuss cease-fire proposal drawn up by the Egyptians.

Mashaal and Haniyeh at Gaza rally 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)
Mashaal and Haniyeh at Gaza rally 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)
A delegation of several Palestinian groups arrived in Cairo on Saturday for talks on how to end the fighting in Gaza.
On the eve of the visit, a senior Palestinian official in Ramallah claimed the Palestinians received “assurances” from the US that the blockade on the Gaza Strip would be removed once a cease-fire is reached.
The delegation is headed by Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official, who played a major role in brokering the reconciliation deal with Hamas last April.
Majed Faraj, head of the Palestinian Authority’s General Intelligence Force, also joined the delegation, which was formed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
The delegation consists of four Hamas officials: Musa Abu Marzouk, Khalil al-Haya, Izzat al-Risheq and Emad al-Alami.
Islamic Jihad is represented by Khaled al-Batsh and Ziad Nakhaleh.
The Egyptian authorities had refused to receive any Hamas official in Cairo unless he’s part of a Fatah-led delegation.
The delegation is scheduled to begin talks on Sunday with Egyptian officials on the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.
Hamas had rejected the proposal, insisting that any ceasefire agreement include the lifting of the siege on Gaza and the reopening of all border crossings, first and foremost the Rafah terminal along the Egyptian border.