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Palestinian delegation meets Egyptian intelligence chief, but not hopeful: Source

Source participating in Cairo talks over Gaza ceasefire suggests Israeli inflexibility as stumbling point in negotiations

Ahmed Eleiba, Monday 18 Aug 2014
Farid El-Tohamy
Egypt's intelligence chief Mohamed Farid El-Tohamy (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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A member of the Palestinian delegation in Cairo for talks on a Gaza truce says that a meeting is currently taking place with Mohamed El-Tohamy, head of Egypt's intelligence, amid efforts to negotiate with Israel.

However, the source told Ahram Online that there isn't much hope in signing a permanent ceasefire between Palestinian factions and Israel.

The source also said that Cairo has exerted great effort in Monday's sessions to save the negotiations from what he describes as Israel's inflexibility.

Israel has demanded the demilitarisation of Palestinian resistance factions since the beginning of the ceasefire talks.

The source pointed to Israel's insistence in being involved in rebuilding Gaza – even though Arabs will be funding the efforts.

An Egyptian source engaged in the talks said that Israel asked Cairo to become a guarantor – and not just a mediator – to any deal reached between both sides. Cairo has refused to become a guarantor in the talks, though.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian ambassador in Egypt announced that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will arrive in Cairo on Friday for a two day visit, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported Monday.

Gamal Al-Shobky said that Abbas will meet with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi by Saturday to discuss the latest developments in Cairo's endeavours to finalise a Palestinian-Israeli ceasefire in Gaza.

Al-Shobky, the Palestinian Arab League permanent representative, noted that the bilateral meeting will also discuss a conference for the reconstruction of the war-torn coastal enclave that is expected by September in Cairo.

Israel's offensive on Gaza, which began on 8 July, has led to the death of over 2,000 Palestinians and the injury of almost 10,200 others. A total of 64 soldiers and three civilians have also been killed on the Israeli side.


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