Hamas official in Cairo for Gaza truce talks

AFP , Wednesday 16 Jul 2014

A Hamas official is to hold talks in Cairo on Wednesday about Egyptian-led efforts to end a nine-day conflict between the Gaza-based Islamist movement and Israel, the Palestinians said.

"A meeting will be held this afternoon between an official from Hamas and a representative of the Egyptian leadership," said Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior member of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.

Speaking at a meeting of the Arab League, Ahmad voiced hope that those at the gathering would "crystalize a definite formula for an Egyptian initiative" or clarify Cairo's plan, which proposed an end to hostilities from 0600 GMT on Tuesday.

Israel initially accepted the Egyptian initiative, but later intensified its punishing air operation.
Ahmad's remarks came as Mideast Quartet envoy Tony Blair held talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri, on his second visit to Cairo within a week to discuss the Gaza conflict.

Later on Wednesday, Abbas is also due to arrive in the Egyptian capital for talks about a possible ceasefire.

Israel launched a campaign of air strikes against Gaza, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, on June 8. The operation has killed 208 Palestinians.

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