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Palestinian and Israeli delegations in Cairo to reinforce ceasefire

Egyptian Intelligence to delegate Gaza ceasefire and aim to ease the move of goods through check points

Ahmed Eleiba , Monday 26 Nov 2012
Palestinian and Israeli delegations in Cairo to reinforce ceasefire
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal speaks during a press conference in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012 (Photo: AP)
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Egypt has received on Monday delegations from both the Palestinian and Israeli side to "buttress truce." The Palestinian delegation is headed by Ziyad Zaza, Hamas' Deputy Prime Minister.

Talks sponsored by Egyptian Intelligence will deal mainly with intricacies of the deal signed between the two parties last week.

"This is the second phase of the agreement in which we are supposed to lay down the mechanism for implementing the deal," said Ambassador Alaa Osman in a telephone call from Ramallah.

Discussions will focus on easing the siege and facilitating the move of goods through crossing points. The Gaza Strip has four commercial crossings with Israel that used to operate before 2006.

An Egyptian official told Reuters that Cairo would also urge both sides to cement their commitments to the ceasefire agreement.

Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian man on Friday after he approached the Gaza "no-go" border area. The man believed under the terms of the Gaza ceasefire that he was able to go up to the heavily patrolled fence.

Alarmed by the prospect of the truce failing, Egypt encouraged Hamas police to be deployed along the border line to keep Gazans away and prevent further violence. In fact, Egypt is expected to be the guarantor for the Palestinian side, i.e. Hamas, and the United States for Israel.

The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into effect last Wednesday, ending hostilities between the two sides that cost the lives of 167 Palestinians and six Israelis.

However, the text of the truce stipulates that issues such as access to borders, free movement for Gazans, and the transfer of goods would be dealt with "after 24 hours."

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