Abbas to head 'joint team' for Gaza ceasefire talks
RAMALLAH - Agence France-Presse
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. AP PhotoPalestinian president Mahmud Abbas is to head a team including Hamas for talks in Cairo on sealing a Gaza ceasefire between the Islamist movement and Israel, an official said July 28.
"Abbas is forming a Palestinian delegation including Hamas and Islamic Jihad representatives to meet Egyptian leaders and discuss a halt to Israel's aggression against Gaza," said the senior official in the West Bank city of Ramallah where the Abbas-led Palestinian Authority is based.
"The aim is to examine with Egyptian leaders how to meet Palestinian demands and put an end to the aggression and protect the Palestinians," said the source, declining to be named or to give a date for the mission.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has so far made a ceasefire deal with Israel conditional on a number of demands, notably an end to the Israeli blockade of the coastal territory, opening of a border crossing with Egypt and Israel's release of a number of Palestinian prisoners.
Fatah and Hamas in early June agreed to form a national unity government, in a fragile reconciliation deal aimed at healing a rift between the Palestinian factions that erupted in deadly clashes in 2007.