Hamas plans to dispatch another delegation to Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials about a recently-reached Egypt-backed truce between it and Israel, a top group official said Wednesday.
Musa Abu Marzouk, a leading member of Hamas's influential political bureau, also revealed that group leader Ismail Haniyeh would soon set out on a tour overseas.
“The delegation [to Egypt], which will be headed by Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri, is expected to arrive in Cairo either today [Wednesday] or tomorrow [Thursday],” Marzouk said.
“We will head to Cairo… where our goal is to achieve national unity and finally wrap up the [Hamas-Fatah] reconciliation process,” he added.
Over the last several months, Egypt, Qatar and the UN have been holding consultations with various parties in an effort to hammer out a truce between Hamas-led Palestinian resistance factions and Israel.
The general outlines of the ceasefire, which appears to have been reached last week, involve an easing of Israel’s 12-year blockade of Gaza in return for a halt to mass Palestinian demonstrations near the Gaza-Israel buffer zone.
Since late March, Palestinians in Gaza have converged along the buffer zone on an almost daily basis (especially on Fridays) to demonstrate against Israel’s decades-long occupation.
Since the rallies began almost eight months ago, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed -- and thousands more injured -- by Israeli troops deployed along the other side of the buffer zone.
Protesters demand the right to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
They also demand an end to Israel’s crippling Gaza blockade, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of many basic commodities.
As for Haniyeh, Abu Marzouk says the Hamas leader is currently “making arrangements for a tour overseas to include several countries”.
He did not say when the tour would begin or which countries it would include.
“Several Arab and Muslim states, along with some other countries, have expressed their readiness to receive Haniyeh and an accompanying delegation,” Marzouk said.
“Arrangements are currently underway,” he added, “but we have yet to decide on a date.”