Cairo proposed Friday hosting representatives of the rival Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, over cementing their mid-May ceasefire and reaching a common ground on the ceasefire with Israel.
The Egyptian security delegation in Gaza has sent out individual invitations to the concerned factions for a potential dialogue in Cairo.
A delegation of Hamas’s representatives will head for Cairo after Fatah’s officials will have completed talks with the Egyptians, media reports said.
Hamas talks in Cairo will be followed by delegations of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Meanwhile, Fatah and Hamas are expected to hold Friday talks on possible means to solidify their fifth ceasefire agreement over a week, after they postponed a meeting for security reasons amidst continued Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Azzam aL-Ahamd, Palestinian deputy-prime minister and a Fatah leader said the Cairo meetings will aim at cementing the Fatah-Hamas ceasefire as well as discussing a comprehensive ceasefire with Israel.
Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman of Hamas in Gaza, said his movement learned about the Cairo dialogue, yet he maintained that no official invitations have been handed to the movement.
The Friday talks come ahead of a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and representative of the various Palestinian factions over reaching a unified position on a mutual ceasefire with Israel, intended at halting rocket fire and stopping Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Israeli air strikes on Gaza have gone unabated since last Thursday, targeting Hamas operatives and locations in various parts of the coastal region.
President Abbas held on Thursday a meeting with these factions, calling on them to stop rocket fire on Israel, describing the rockets ‘absurd’. Factions insisted that any ceasefire announcement must include the West Bank, before they stop the rocket fire.
Unconfirmed media reports revealed Friday that the factions may drop a demand that the West Bank be included in the ceasefire.
Last Wednesday, Fatah and Hamas reached their fifth ceasefire in a week following a spate of internecine infighting, considered the deadliest since the two groups established a coalition government early on March. The unity cabinet was agreed upon after the Saudi-brokered conciliation pact signed on February8.
Last week’s infighting claimed the lives of 52 people involving 22 Hamas men and 28 Fatah members and wounded more than one hundred others.
Intra-Palestinian violence has been rocking the Gaza Strip since last December after Palestinian President called for early presidential and parliamentary elections. Hamas rejected Abbas’s, calling the elections illegal according to the Palestinian institution.
Since March 2006, the international Quartet (United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia) has been isolating a Hamas-led government until the latter recognizes Israel, renounces violence and accepts past signed agreements with Israel.
Despite the fact that the now Hamas-Fatah government respected the past signed agreements, which recognize Israel, the international embargo remains in place.