Palestinian Officials Arrive in Egypt for Talks Ahead of Planned Meeting

GAZA/ CAIRO (Reuters) -
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Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

Palestinian leaders, including Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh and a delegation from the Fatah movement of Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, arrived in Cairo on Tuesday for separate talks with Egyptian officials that aim to reinforce a ceasefire with Israel.

Haniyeh’s visit came in response to a special invitation from Cairo, in advance of a broader meeting of Palestinian factions that could begin as early as next week, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said.

Jibril Rajoub, a senior figure from Abbas’s Fatah movement, which runs the Palestinian Authority that exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli administered West Bank, was also expected to meet Egyptian officials, Palestinian and Egyptian sources said. Abbas has been invited to Egypt.

The Palestinian and Egyptian sources did not say whether the delegations from the rival Palestinian groups would meet each other.

Egypt has played a major role in the brokering of a ceasefire last month between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist terror group which rules Gaza.

Haniyeh and Egyptian officials will discuss cementing the truce with Israel as well as reconstruction plans for Gaza, Qassem said. Egypt has said it will allocate $500 million for the reconstruction.

Egypt has tried in the past to foster cooperation between Palestinian factions, which it sees as important for wider efforts to promote peace in the region.