Egyptian Official: Israeli Delegation Expected in Cairo Soon
Egyptian officials expect the Israeli negotiating delegation to arrive in Cairo within a week to continue indirect talks, sources in Egypt told the Ma’an news agency on Thursday.
Egypt has been in contact with both Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli officials this week to determine a date for further talks following a cessation to hostilities last week.
According to the sources, Egypt is expecting the arrival of PA security teams in Cairo for training in order to deploy at the Rafah crossing and along the Gaza-Egypt border.
As part of the long-term truce that was reached in Gaza, further negotiations regarding other key unresolved issues were to take place in Egypt a month later.
These issues include Hamas’s demands for a seaport and airport in Gaza and Israel’s demand that Gaza be demilitarized.
Israel’s demand has been flatly rejected, with Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri saying Saturday that "our people will not allow it. It is not required to disarm the Palestinian people, but rather to disarm the (Israeli) occupation and to ban the American administration from providing it with the weapons that are used to kill children and women."
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon last Friday rejected Hamas’s seaport and airport demand, saying that "there is no chance that Hamas will receive a seaport - it is not in Israel's interest, it is not an Egyptian interest, it's not even in the interest of the Palestinian Authority."
However, senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar declared last Tuesday that his group would build a seaport and airport in Gaza, even without permission.