Tuesday's indirect talks with Israel are 'preliminary': Palestinian negotiator
Ahmed Eleiba, Sunday 21 Sep 2014
Islamic Jihad's deputy secretary-general says indirect talks between Israel and Palestinian factions set for Tuesday aim only to set the agenda for focused negotiations in October

Ziad Nakhala, Islamic Jihad's deputy secretary-general, told Ahram Online Sunday that indirect negotiations with Israel in Egypt, due to resume Tuesday, are "preliminary and procedural."

Speaking from Lebanon's capital Beirut, he pointed out that the requests of both sides will be discussed in detail in October, coinciding with a Cairo-hosted meeting on the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

The talks, sponsored by Egypt, will involve setting the agenda of the talks, Nakhala — a member of the Palestinian negotiating delegation — said.

He added that the Palestinian delegation will be "limited this time" and will meet with Egyptian officials in advance. Nakhala praised Egyptian efforts in the talks, claiming that the main aim of the talks involves "maintaining the state of ceasefire."

The Palestinian official also highlighted Egypt's sponsorship of inter-Palestinian reconciliation efforts, as the country will broker a meeting between Fatah and Hamas officials in the coming days.

Israel and Palestinian factions in late August reached an open-ended Egyptian-brokered ceasefire halting the seven-week Israeli assault on the coastal enclave that left around 2,143 Palestinians dead and more than 12,000 others injured.

Seventy persons — including 64 soldiers — were killed on the Israeli side.

Egypt's initiative — on which the truce deal was built — included opening crossings into Gaza for goods and humanitarian and food aid, along with medical supplies and material to repair water, electricity and mobile phone networks.

Both sides also agreed to immediately end restrictions on Palestinian boats, in order to allow fishing and sailing activities up to six nautical miles into the Mediterranean.