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Mashaal and Haniyeh Photo: Reuters
Mashaal and Haniyeh Photo: Reuters
 
 

Hamas leaders gather in Cairo

Haniyeh, Mashaal and other senior officials head to Egypt. Hamas spokesman says leaders will discuss Israeli violations of Pillar of Defense truce, Palestinian reconciliation

AFP, Elior Levy
Published: 03.30.13, 23:49 / Israel News

Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh, politburo chief KhaledMashaal and other senior officials headed to Cairo on Saturday under unclear circumstances.  

 

Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu said Haniyeh will discuss his movement's complaints about Israeli compliance with an Egyptian-brokered truce, which ended eight days of deadly violence in and around the Gaza Strip last November.

 

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Last week, Hamas complained to Egypt that Israel was not keeping its end of the bargain.

 

Al-Nunu said that the Gaza premier would be discussing "the problem of (Palestinian) prisoners (held by Israel) and Hamas-Egypt relations."

 

The spokesman noted that reconciliation efforts between Hamas and the Fatah faction of President Mahmoud Abbas are also expected to be on the agenda.

 

On Friday, a senior Hamas official told the Italian news agency that the movement will soon declare the results of the politburo race. Meanwhile it was reported that the majority of Hamas' leadership are in Cairo ahead of the elections, according to Palestinian and Egyptian sources. It is possible the elections will be held in Doha later in the week.

 

Elections for Hamas' politburo have been delayed due to upsets caused by the movement's relocation from Damascus. The top candidates to replace Mashaal if he indeed steps down are Haniyeh and Moussa Abu Marzouk.

 

Ties between Hamas and Cairo have been tense after Egyptian forces closed down dozens of smuggling tunnels on the Gaza border.

 

Haniyeh will also seek to "clear the air" after Egyptian allegations of Hamas involvement in a deadly attack on Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula last year, Hamas sources said.

 

 

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