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Egypt asks Israelis, Palestinians to resume talks

Egypt Monday called on the Israelis and the Palestinians to resume in Cairo next week the talks on reinforcing the ceasefire and restoring calm in the Gaza Strip, a senior official said.

IANS| Updated: Oct 20, 2014, 20:17 PM IST

Ramallah: Egypt Monday called on the Israelis and the Palestinians to resume in Cairo next week the talks on reinforcing the ceasefire and restoring calm in the Gaza Strip, a senior official said.

Qais Adbulkareem, a member of the Palestinian team for indirect dialogue with Israel, told Xinhua that Egypt sent official invitations to both Israeli and Palestinian delegations to resume their dialogue in Cairo next week. 

Cairo: Egypt brokered a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas-led militant groups which came into effect Aug 26. The deal ended 50 days of a large-scale Israeli air and ground military offensive on the Gaza Strip. 

Major issues, including building a seaport and an airport for Gaza and exchanging Israeli soldiers held by Hamas remain unresolved and "will be on the agenda of the indirect dialogue" he said.

Abdulkareem also said the indirect talks would preview the violations of what had been agreed upon to end the offensive, mainly the incursions into the Gaza Strip as well as opening fire at fishermen and detaining them.

The Palestinian official accused Israel of delaying and postponing its commitment to the ceasefire agreement, adding that "this delay was expected and it is hard to see or feel a 100 percent Israel commitment".

Earlier this week, senior Hamas leader in Gaza Mahmoud al-Zahar announced that the coming indirect talks sponsored by Egypt "won`t include talks on exchanging dead or alive soldiers for Palestinian prisoners".

"The issue of prisoners` swap is completely isolated from the other issues related to reinforcing the ceasefire and restoring calm in the Gaza Strip," said al-Zahar.

The delegation, which will join the indirect talks, will be headed by senior Fatah leader Azzam el-Ahmad and includes representatives from Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), as well as Hamas and Jihad.