Rafah in Gaza, near the Egyptian border
Rafah in Gaza, near the Egyptian borderAbed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

Egypt is engaged in efforts to broker a "long-term truce" between terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip and Israel, according to a report Sunday by the London-based The New Arab news site.

This follows Cairo's recent mediation in resolving the latest conflict, referred to as "Operation Shield and Arrow," between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

Sources familiar with the ongoing mediation said that Egyptian authorities have conveyed a message to high-ranking officials from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, urging their personal attendance at the upcoming talks in Cairo. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss sensitive matters. Recent international and regional agreements involving the United States, Qatar, and Egypt have paved the way for Cairo's expanded role in the Gaza Strip, necessitating the direct involvement of Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders.

The Egyptian sources also revealed consultations between Egyptian and Iranian security officials concerning the situation in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority.

“There have been consultations during the last period between Egyptian and Iranian security officials regarding the situation in the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories, due to Tehran’s role in supporting Hamas and the Islamic Jihad,” one source cited by the report said.

The plan being discussed includes the establishment in the Gaza Strip of a subsidiary port of Sinai's el-Arish Port, which would facilitate increased trade. Furthermore, a highway linking Gaza to the major city of el-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula is being considered. This highway would enable the transportation of goods between Gaza and the Egyptian port for import and export purposes.

Another aspect of the plan involves Egypt providing Gaza with electricity. A large-scale project is proposed, starting at 100 megawatts and gradually increasing, potentially reaching 300 MW.

Lastly, the plan encompasses the exploration and utilization of natural gas reserves off the Gaza coast.

However, Egypt is cautious about managing a port within Gaza, as it fears being held responsible by Israel and the international community if the port is exploited for weapons smuggling. Consequently, Egypt seeks a broader security role in the Strip, which may not be acceptable to the Gazan terrorist factions.