Palestinian officials arrive in Egypt for talks ahead of scheduled meeting
Recasts with Fatah delegations
GAZA / CAIRO, June 8 (Reuters) – Palestinian leaders including Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and a delegation from President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement arrived in Cairo on Tuesday for separate talks with Egyptian officials which aim to strengthen a ceasefire with Israel.
Haniyeh’s visit came in response to a special invitation from Cairo, in anticipation of a larger meeting of Palestinian factions that could begin as early as next week, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem shelp.
Jibril Rajoub, a senior official in Abbas’s Fatah movement, which heads the Palestinian Authority which exercises limited autonomy in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, was also due to meet with Egyptian officials, Palestinian and Egyptian sources said. Abbas was invited to Egypt.
Palestinian and Egyptian sources did not say whether delegations from rival Palestinian groups would meet.
Egypt played a major role in negotiating a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza, after 11 days of conflict that erupted on May 10.
More than 250 Palestinians have been killed in hundreds of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza during this conflict. Rockets fired by militants from Gaza killed 13 people in Israel.
Haniyeh and Egyptian officials will discuss consolidating the truce with Israel as well as plans for rebuilding Gaza, Qassem said. Egypt has announced that it will allocate $ 500 million for reconstruction.
Egypt has in the past attempted to foster cooperation between Palestinian factions, that he considers important for broader efforts to promote peace in the region.
(Reporting by Nidal Al Mughrabi and Ahmed Mohamed Hassan Written by Nafisa Eltahir Editing by Gareth Jones and Peter Graff)
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