Time.news – High-level delegations from Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, have agreed to meet next week in Cairo, to consolidate the truce agreed a week ago with the mediation of Egypt and to address issues such as the reconstruction of Gaza and the exchange of hostages.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi will lead the Israeli delegation to the “start of next week” meeting, as confirmed by the official Israeli army radio, Galatz.
For Hamas, the movement’s political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, will go to Cairo “in the next few days” to “discuss stabilization of the ceasefire with Israel”.
Last week Israel and Hamas agreed on a truce that ended an 11-day escalation of hostilities between Israeli troops and Palestinian militias, in which 253 Palestinians died in the Strip and 13 people in Israeli territory.
Waiting for more details on the format of the meetings, it is not clear whether the two delegations will officially sit at the same table negotiations or will hold separate meetings with mediators, a role played so far by Egypt, Jordan and the UN.
According to the Israeli media, the format will be “indirect talks”. Israel usually does not comment on possible contacts with representatives of Hamas, which is considered a terrorist group.
“The goal is to reach an agreement on the ceasefire and on the possibilities of aid to the Gaza Strip,” said Galatz. From Hamas they confirmed that the goal of the contacts in Cairo is “to consolidate the ceasefire” and “to face the reconstruction of the Strip”.