Indirect talks between Israeli and Palestinian delegations on the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip will resume on Tuesday in Cairo, said a senior Israeli source on Saturday night, after AFP reported Palestinian and Egyptian officials claiming the negotiations would resume on Wednesday.
On August 26, both sides agreed a ceasefire that ended 50 days of deadly conflict in the enclave and provided for a resumption of negotiations within a month to discuss unresolved issues.
These include the construction of a port and restoring the territory's airport, and exchanging Palestinian prisoners for the remains of Israeli soldiers.
Cairo will also host reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah next week. A senior Fatah official, Azzam al-Ahmad, said that the negotiations between the leading Palestinian factions will deal with the implementation of the reconciliation accords.
The relations between Fatah and Hamas were strained in recent weeks after the revalation that Hamas cells in the West Bank planned to incite an intifada to topple PA President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as an ongoing salary dispute for Hamas civil servants in the Strip.
Last week, senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk said that his organization would not veto direct negotiations with Israel, if circumstances forced them into such an arrangment.
In an interview with the Hamas-affiliated station Al-Quds, Marzouk said there was no legal barrier to direct talks. "Just like we have a back and forth with weapons, we may have a give and take with words. Until now, our policy has been to not negotiate with Israel, but it is important to understand that it is not taboo."
According to reports, leaks, and estimates, the Palestinian factions will discuss Abbas' proposal to renew the negotiations with Israel for a period of nine months, to end with a measured withdrawal by Israel over three years.
According to a PA minister considered close to Abbas, the Palestinian leader demands the central issues be solved at the beginning of the talks, with the sides presenting a map of the proposed Palestinian state.
AFP and Elior Levy contributed to this report.