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Hamas leader discusses with Egyptian mediators internal reconciliation, truce with Israel

Sunday 23 September 2018 02:02 PM

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

 The Islamic Hamas movement said  yesterday that its politburo chief Ismail Haneya discussed with senior Egyptian mediators a truce with Israel and reconciliation to end 12 years of internal Palestinian division.

The movement said in an emailed press statement that the senior Egyptian Security Intelligence delegation, which arrived in the Gaza Strip yesterday, discussed the terms of reconciliation and an end to the Israeli blockade.

"Haneya and the high-ranking Egyptian delegation discussed several issues related to the strategic ties between the two sides, the challenges that face the Palestinian cause and the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza," said the statement.

The statement stressed that the two sides discussed in-depth the Egyptian efforts in finalizing the terms of internal Palestinian reconciliation based on the understandings reached in Cairo in May 2011.

"Hamas is keen to gain the national Palestinian unity amid the dangerous challenges that face the Palestinian cause, mainly the issues of Jerusalem, refugees and the settlement," said the statement.

The Hamas statement also said that the two sides discussed efforts to reach a ceasefire with Israel.

A high-ranking Egyptian Security Intelligence delegation left the Gaza Strip earlier on Saturday afternoon after holding talks with top leaders of the Islamic Hamas movement, local media and well-informed sources said.

The sources said that the delegation headed by Ahmad Abdul Khaleq, who is in charge of the Palestine issue in the Egyptian Security Intelligence, met with Haneya at his office in Gaza City together with other leaders of the movement.

The Egyptian delegation will carry Hamas' response to both Israel and to President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian National Authority, said the sources, who declined to say what Hamas' response was.

Egypt has been for many years the main mediator between Hamas and Abbas over an end to the 12-year-long Palestinian internal division and had brokered ceasefires between Palestine and Israel.

Israel has been imposing a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip since 2007, after the Hamas movement violently seized control of the coastal enclave and routed Abbas' security forces.