Hamas sent a delegation to Cairo on Saturday to receive Israel's response to an Egyptian-mediated calm proposal for the Gaza Strip. A delegation composed of members from the Gaza Strip and headquarters in Damascus was due to arrive in Cairo later on Saturday, said Hamas political leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh.
"The delegation will meet the Egyptian leadership and will hear the Israeli response to the implementation of the truce conditions," Haniyeh told reporters, according to AFP. He reiterated the movement's demands for Israel to lift its blockade of the Strip and to halt all military operations there.
Hamas' senior leader in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Mahmud Zahar, said a calm could take effect in less than two weeks. The Israeli envoy for the talks presented Tel Aviv's conditions for the cam in Cairo last week, insisting that Palestinian groups completely halt attacks, mainly rocket strikes, against southern Israel.Another key condition is that progress be made towards the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian groups including Hamas on June 25, 2006. But Zahar said that Shalit's release would not be included in the calm agreement, adding that Hamas would free him under a prisoner exchange deal.