By Erin Viner
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar visited Cairo to hold talks on number of matters with Egyptian Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. Abbas Kamel on Monday.
A member of the Hamas delegation told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency that “progress has been made regarding the cease-fire understandings” and that both Gaza City and Cairo agreed on the “necessity of consolidating” the truce with Jerusalem.
Israel and Hamas have been holding indirect negotiations brokered by Egypt aimed at strengthening the fragile ceasefire for the 11-day spring conflict that erupted after Islamist terror groups in Gaza fired over 4,000 rockets at Israeli civilians. Following heavy IDF retaliation for the attacks, Egypt pledged $500 million to help rebuild infrastructure in the Strip.
The Hamas source said that Cairo also vowed to accelerate the reconstruction process and “to take further steps to improve the economic situation in Gaza,” including an easing of restrictions on the entry of goods into the territory through its Rafah border.
Both Egypt and Israel imposed blockades on their respective crossings into Gaza after the Islamist-Hamas organization seized control of the Palestinian enclave from its bitter Fatah rivals in a 2007 bloody internecine Palestinian war, to prevent the new terrorist leaders from acquiring contraband materials.
Topics discussed by the Hamas leaders and the Egyptian intelligence director also included “the situation in Jerusalem and Palestinian developments,” the source told Anadolu.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Safa News Agency reported that Hamas to threaten another “explosion” similar to its rocket barrage in May over alleged Israeli “violations and crimes” in Jerusalem, ongoing settlement construction and failure to advance a proposed prisoner exchange with Gaza.