Ziyad Nakhala of Islamic Jihad told Ahram Online on Sunday that the Cairo talks to end Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip were "friendly," and the Palestinian factions managed to agree on a unified paper of demands.
"The meeting was held in calm and friendly conditions, and our brothers in Egypt showed understanding to what we proposed over the basis on which a ceasefire should be built," Nakhala said.
He added that Egypt is following the issue with "great concern." Nakhala said a new round of meeting will take place on Monday, a point announced to reporters by Hamas representative Ezzat Al-Rashq after the meeting.
"In general, we are optimistic about the Egyptian position as it adopts the just Palestinian demands to stop the unjust Israeli aggression," noted Nakhala.
Nakhala -- who is currently attending the negotiations -- is among a comprehensive Palestinian delegation that started its preliminary meeting with Egyptian officials on Sunday afternoon to discuss the Egyptian initiative for a ceasefire and seek to reach a common perspective.
Members of the Palestinian delegation, headed by Azzam Al-Ahmed of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, include Al-Rashq, Mohamed Nasr and Mousa Abou Marzouk of Hamas, Ziyad Nakhala of Islamic Jihad, Quis Abdel-Kareem of the Democratic Front, Maher Al-Taher of the Popular Front and Bassam Al-Salehi of the People's Party, in addition to Maged Farag, head of Palestinian intelligence.
The Palestinian paper includes the immediate Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, halting airstrikes, lifting the blockade and the release of Palestinian prisoners.
In addition, the paper called for an international donor's conference and the reconstruction of Gaza through cooperation between the Palestinian unity government and the United Nations, along with the delivery of humanitarian aid to Palestinians, including food, water, and medicine and the immediate re-opening of power plants.
Nakhala expressed disapproval of a report published by Israel's Yadiot Ahranot, in which the newspaper unveiled the willingness of Israel's Premier Benjamin Netanyahu to gather international support for a conditional deal based upon disarmament of Palestinian factions in return for Gaza reconstruction.
According to the newspaper, such deal would encompass reducing the blockade and re-building Gaza through Western states. Yet, with strict supervision for the entrance of materials that could be used for weaponry-related purposes, such as cement and metal tubes.
"No one can accept such a matter because we are under occupation, which gives us the right to use all legitimate means of resistance," the Jihad leader said.
He concluded by saying that this issue was not tackled during the ongoing Cairo talks. "Discussing it is not even acceptable," he asserted.
Another source at the delegation, who preferred to remain anonimous, told Ahram Online that Envoy of the Quartet Tony Blair arrived in Cairo on Sunday, mentioning that US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns is expected to arrive as well.