The ruling Hamas party in Gaza will dispatch a delegation to Cairo on Tuesday in pursuit of the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire deal with Israel, which took effect on June19, 2008, Hamas sources said.
The delegation will brief Egyptian mediators on Hamas’s commitment to the ceasefire in a time when ‘Israel has not shown genuine commitment to the deal’ confirmed a spokesman for Hamas in Gaza, Fawzi Barhoum
On another note, Barhoum downplayed the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority’s president call for national dialogue with Hamas, calling it merely a blackout of the ongoing arrests of Hamas supporters in the West Bank.
He added that such arrests would hinder any genuine dialogue with Fatah.
‘ The president’s call for dialogue is apparently meant to blackout underway detentions of Hamas supporters’, Barhoum maintained.
Barhoum’s remarks come amidst a tense situation in the Gaza Strip, after the Hamas-led forces rounded up hundreds of Fatah supporters in the aftermath of a deadly car blast last Friday, which claimed the lives of three Hamas fighters and wounded more than 20 people.
Hamas and Fatah have been engaged in factional fighting since the Islamist party took power after January 2006 elections. Hamas took over Gaza in June 2007, while President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah outlawed Hamas and installed a Fatah-loyal government in the West Bank.
Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, was reportedly astonished by what he called ‘Hamas’s strict commitment to the ceasefire deal,’ brokered by Egypt 40 days ago.
Barak , who was attending a cabinet meeting on Monday, also hailed the Egyptian authorities crackdown on what he termed ‘ arms smuggling’ from Egypt into Gaza.
In June, after prolonged Egyptian mediation efforts, both Israel and the ruling Hamas party in Gaza began a ceasefire deal that would lead to lifting a 13-month-long Israeli blockade on Gaza and put an end to homemade rocket fire from Gaza into nearby Israeli towns.
Since the deal has gone into effect , Hamas has complained of Israeli procrastination in lifting the Gaza blockade, with many essential items and raw materials still made scare as movement through border crossings remains very limited.