Cairo talks to include Hamas-Fatah negotiations on Gaza rule

Head of Palestinian delegation to ceasefire talks says while Abbas wants real authority in Gaza, Hamas refuses to cede control of security forces in Strip.

Alongside the indirect talks between Israelis and Palestinians on a sustained Gaza ceasefire deal, Egypt will also mediate between Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah on who should run the territory, the head of the Palestinian delegation to the Cairo negotiations said Sunday.



Azzam al-Ahmed, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told Palestinian radio that talks will be held Tuesday in Cairo.


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.


Azzam al-Ahmed in Cairo (Photo: AFP)
Azzam al-Ahmed in Cairo (Photo: AFP)


These include the construction of a port and restoring the territory's airport, and exchanging Palestinian prisoners for the remains of Israeli soldiers.


They will also try to resolve an internal Palestinian rift. Al-Ahmed says Abbas wants real authority in Gaza, but Hamas balks at ceding control of its security forces. Hamas seized Gaza from Abbas' Fatah in 2007.


Israel and Egypt see the Western-backed Abbas as a guarantor of any Gaza border deal.


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.


Attila Somfalvi, AFP and Elior Levy contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 09.21.14, 14:24
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