Photo: Reuters
PA President Abbas with Hamas leader Mashal
Photo: Reuters
Report: Palestinian delegation to arrive in Cairo
Abbas-led delegation, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives, supposed to arrive in Egypt on Thursday night

After an Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo on Wednesday to advance talks for a ceasefire in Gaza, the Palestinian delegation was expected to arrive in Egypt on Thursday night, Al-Manar reported.



The Palestinian delegation includes yet unnamed representatives from both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and was set to be headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.


The Israeli delegation includes Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen and the head of the Policy and Political-Military Affairs department in the Defense Ministry Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Amos Gilad.


PLO official Wasel Abu-Youssef told Asharq Al-Awsat that there are "talks between Palestinian officials of the highest ranks in order to establish a three- or a five-days ceasefire, following which negotiations will be held in Cairo to reach a permanent agreement."


He said the Palestinian leadership was working alongside the UN, Qatar, Turkey, the US, Russia and others to reach a long-term truce.


Other Palestinian officials said Qatar intends to join forces with Egypt to help reach an agreement.


On Wednesday, Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid Attiyah spoke to PA persident Abbas and asked to meet with former PLO peace negotiator Saeb Erekat. Erekat was also expected to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in Qatar.


According to Abu-Youssef, the proposal the PA wants to base the agreement on includes almost all of Hamas' demands for the removal of the Israeli blockade on Gaza: Opening the border crossings, cancelling the border buffer zone, extending the Gaza fishing area to 12-miles from the shore, releasing the Shalit deal prisoners who were recently re-arrested for violating their parole and executing the fourth and final phase of prisoner release that was a part of the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, that have since failed.


On Wednesday night, Abbas declared Gaza as a "humanitarian disaster zone."


Abbas also called on Ban to encourage international institutions belonging to the UN to provide immediate aid to the Strip because of the severe humanitarian situation caused by Operation Protective Edge.


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