An Egyptian security delegation arrived on Monday to the Gaza Strip to meet with leaders of the Palestinian factions to preserve the deteriorating calm declared in the Cairo talks in March, Palestinian sources reported.

The visit of the delegation, headed by Mustafa Al-Baheri, deputy chief of Egyptian intelligence, is based on a request from the Palestinian factions to help put an end tension in the region.

The delegation will meet first with some senior Fatah leaders followed by chiefs of the security forces and the police.

On Tuesday, the delegation is scheduled to meet with the rest of the Palestinian factions including a meeting with Hamas.

Tension erupted in the Gaza strip after Israeli military killed two Hamas activist in Khan Younis. Hamas responded by firing mortar and Qassam shells at the southern Gaza Strip settlements.

The Palestinian factions declared calm in their meeting in Cairo until then end of 2005, hoping Israel will reciprocate so that they will be able to declare truce.

On the other hand, Israel demands a dismantling of the resistance groups as a pre-requisite for declaring a truce and handing over of the Palestinian cities to the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority said it disarmed the resistance groups in the areas handed over to them, but is not able and ready to disarm resistance in areas that are not under their control.

Israel handed over Jericho and Tulkarem to the PA, and yet did not hand over the rest of the cities it pledged in the Sharm A-Sheikh agreement in February.