Indirect Israel-Hamas talks to resume in Cairo next week
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas sits with the Egyptian premier Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, July 17, 2014 (File/AFP)
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Israel and Hamas are expected to resume indirect negotiations in Cairo next week, following an invitation issued to both sides by the Egyptians.
The talks will come two months after a ceasefire went into effect ending Operation Protective Edge, and some two weeks after international donors pledged $5.4 billion to rehabilitate Gaza. The talks are meant to find a long-term arrangement in the Gaza Strip.
A senior Hamas official reportedly said the talks were set to resume on October 27.
"Hamas and the Palestinian factions will take part in a session of indirect negotiations with the occupation (Israel) on the 27th of this month at the invitation of Egypt," AFP quoted Hamas deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzuk as saying.
Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Israel’s position on the talks was simple: Israel supports the rehabilitation of Gaza on the condition that “this is not taken advantage of for the building of tunnels, or manufacturing rockets, or anything else that has a military-terrorist purpose.”
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, meanwhile, said it was clear Hamas is trying to rebuild its terrorist infrastructure.
He said he hoped the supervisory mechanism that has been put into place to oversee the transfer of construction materials into the Gaza Strip actually works.
“We have no reason to prevent the building of clinics or schools,” he said in an interview with Israel Radio. “But we do have to make sure that the supervisory mechanisms prevent them from using construction materials to rebuild the tunnels. We will know in a few weeks whether this supervision is effective or not. That is our responsibility.”
The two sides held indirect talks for less than a day in Cairo last month.