Truce contacts resumed as Islamic Jihad leader describe them as ''waste of time''

Published December 16th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

Palestinian sources have disclosed to Al Bawaba that an Egyptian security delegation was to arrive in Gaza Tuesday to discuss with the Palestinian factions ways to kick start the dialogue regarding truce with Israel.  


The first visit by Egyptians to Gaza - three weeks ago – was followed by an extended dialogue in Cairo over a unilateral truce with Israel; however the meeting failed due to disputes between the factions and the Palestinian government. The factions at the time were opposed to delegating to the Palestinian Authority the right to negotiate with Israel, and have also refused to agree on a truce with Israel without any American guarantees. The short period between the two Egyptian initiatives has also raised many questions about new changes in the current political scene.  


Hussam Arafat - member of the political office in the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine - asserted to Al Bawaba “the Cairo talks had failed as there was no guarantee that Israel will respect the truce. The Egyptians suggested a unilateral truce but that suggestion was rejected by most of the factions.”  


He also added that “there must be changes after the visit of the head of Egyptian intelligence to Washington – and we shall see if there indeed will be after his [head of Egyptian intelligence] arrival in Gaza.”  


“The Palestinian factions have not been invited to any meeting in Gaza…any meeting with them [the Egyptians] will have to focus on a new political agenda as we will not allow Fatah to negotiate on behalf of our faction,” Arafat added.  


Prominent Islamic Jihad leader - Nafez Azzam – said that his faction was also not informed of any meeting but added that any such meeting would be a ‘waste of time’. Speaking to Al Bawaba, Azzam stated “my experience has taught me never to count on these meetings as all these attempts will only benefit Israelis who are trying to manipulate the world into thinking that they [Israelis] are serious about peace and a peace process.”  


Al Bawaba sources disclosed last night that General Mustafa Buhairi, commissioner of the Palestinian file in the Egyptian Intelligence Directorate, is expected to head an Egyptian delegation to Gaza. According to the source, the Egyptian delegation is expected to meet each Palestinian faction separately.  


Just recently, the Egyptian Director of Intelligence – Omar Suleiman - paid a visit to the United States where he discussed the latest developments on the Palestinian front. (

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