Hamas delegation in Cairo for talks on Gaza ceasefireJanuary 25th, 2009 - 6:23 pm ICT by IANS
Cairo, Jan 25 (DPA) Egyptian officials were Sunday meeting with representatives of Hamas and other Palestinian factions in talks aimed at turning a one-week ceasefire into a durable truce, Egypt’s official Middle East News Agency said.Speaking to the satellite news network al-Arabiya, Ayman Taha, a representative of Hamas from Gaza, said that the group would not agree to an open-ended truce, but was prepared to negotiate an 18-month ceasefire.
Hamas representatives had previously said they would not agree to a truce for longer than a year.
Taha said that Hamas was prepared to accept Fatah guards at the Palestinian side of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, provided they were from Gaza, not the West Bank.
He also repeated Hamas’ request for Turkish monitors to join European peacekeepers at all of Gaza’s border crossings.
Speaking to London’s pan-Arab daily al-Sharq al-Awsat Saturday, Taha stressed that Hamas welcomed the idea of international monitors “on the condition that they be placed at all crossings - whether between Gaza and Egypt or Gaza and Israel”.
He further said that Hamas refused to tie negotiations on captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit’s fate to the negotiations on control of Gaza’s borders. Hamas captured Shalit at the Kerem Shalom border crossing between Gaza and Israel in June 2006.
Taha told the newspaper that the Hamas delegation had requested that talks with the Egyptians should not include members of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ rival Fatah faction for the moment.
“Once we close talks on the ceasefire, we have no objection to starting talks on reconciliation, on the condition that (Abbas) release Hamas detainees from Palestinian Authority jails,” Taha said.
Egypt is hosting parallel talks with Israel and Palestinian groups, trying to turn both sides’ unilateral ceasefire declarations into a single, lasting truce agreement.
A Hamas delegation led by senior Hamas official Salah al-Bardawil arrived in Cairo late Friday night, followed soon after by a delegation from Hamas leaders living in exile in Syria and a delegation from the Palestinian National Authority.
On Thursday, Israeli negotiator Amos Gilad discussed with Egyptian officials measures to stop weapons smuggling through tunnels that connect Egypt with the Hamas-controlled Strip, a key Israeli demand.
Israel withdrew the last of its soldiers from Gaza Wednesday afternoon, removing the first sticking point in negotiations.
- Palestinian reconciliation unlikely in 2012: Hamas official - Mar 31, 2012
- Egypt confirms Israeli-Palestinian prisoners swap deal - Oct 12, 2011
- Palestine: Fatah, Hamas reach agreement on reconciliation - Apr 28, 2011
- Hamas calls on Palestinians to abduct Israelis - Apr 18, 2012
- Palestinian rivals prepare for Cairo summit - Nov 13, 2011
- Hamas member allowed back in Gaza after leaving $12 mn in Egypt - Feb 06, 2009
- Hamas hails decision to permanently open Rafah border crossing - May 27, 2011
- Hundreds of Palestinians celebrate unity deal - May 04, 2011
- Israeli defence minister, Mubarak meet in Egypt - Jan 27, 2010
- Dozens of Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israeli soldiers - Mar 31, 2012
- Seize Israeli soldiers to swap for Palestinian prisoners: Hamas - Oct 07, 2011
- Egyptian parliamentary delegation visits Gaza - Mar 29, 2012
- Palestinians to apply for UN status despite pressure: Abbas - Sep 08, 2012
- Israel inner cabinet meets to discuss prisoner swap deal - Dec 21, 2009
- Israel to harden conditions of imprisoned Palestinians - Jun 24, 2011
Tags: al arabiya, al sharq al awsat, ayman taha, border crossings, egyptian officials, fatah faction, international monitors, israeli soldier, mahmoud abbas, middle east news, middle east news agency, palestinian factions, palestinian president mahmoud, palestinian president mahmoud abbas, pan arab, parallel talks, president mahmoud abbas, sharq al awsat, truce agreement, unilateral ceasefire