Egypt calls for renewal of ceasefire talks between Israel and Palestinians in Cairo

Thursday, October 23, 2014

On Monday, Egypt invited the Israelis and Palestinians to return next week to the negotiations table in Cairo, which two months ago produced a ceasefire in the midst of the latest extensive armed conflict between the two sides, this time in order to ensure the treaty's stability and to calm the situation in the Gaza Strip.

According to Hamas deputy leader Mousa Abu Marzook, the negotiations will begin next Monday, and will include several issues that have yet to be properly finalized during the previous talks. These issues include the building of a marine port in the Strip and the reopening of the Gaza airport, the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and the issue of the Palestinian prisoners.

Senior Hamas leader in Gaza Mahmoud al-Zahar said, however, the talks will not touch on the subject of exchange of prisoners or dead bodies. He added, "The issue of prisoners' swap is completely isolated from the other issues related to reinforcing the ceasefire and restoring calm in the Gaza Strip".

The Palestinian delegation to next week's talks are to be led by Fatah representative Azzam el-Ahmad, with delegates from the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), from Hamas, and from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. AFP reported no response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to an inquiry regarding renewal of talks.

On August 26, following 50 days of conflict that caused a great deal of damage and many casualties, a ceasefire between the Israeli military and the armed factions in the Gaza Strip was carried into effect, thanks to understandings between the two sides brokered by Egypt. Those talks ended with an agreement to return and discuss the treaty by the end of October.