Heads of Fatah and Hamas delegations, Azzam al-Ahmad (L) and Saleh al-Aruri (R) after signing a reconciliation deal in Cairo, October 12, 2017 - AFP/KHALED DESOUKI
CAIRO - 29 July 2018: A high-level Fatah delegation will arrive on Sunday in Cairo to discuss the Palestinian reconciliation with Egyptian officials.
Munir al-Jaghoub,head of Fatah's Information Department in the Office of Mobilization and Organization, said that the delegation includes Head of Palestinian General Intelligence Service Major General Majid Faraj and members of Fatah Central Committee Azzam al-Ahmad, Husein Al-Sheikh and Rawhi Fattouh.
Al-Jaghoub remarked that the delegation will head to Cairo upon the request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the ways to deliver the perception of the Palestinian leadership, the current situation in Palestine and the file of reconciliation.
Abbas previously referred during the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization held on Saturday that Egypt has sent an idea to tackle Palestinian reconciliation; hence, a delegation will head to Egypt on Sunday for this regard.
“We are committedto the Palestinian stance taken on Oct. 21, 2017,” said Abbas.
The visit coincides with the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov’s meeting, which will be held with Egyptian officials on the Palestinian situation particularly in Gaza.
Previously, a Hamas delegation, headed by Khalil al-Hayya, visited Cairo on July 11 at the invitation of Egyptian intelligence to discuss the reconciliation as well as the situation in Gaza, during which Egypt has handed over several proposals to advance the stagnant process with Fatah.
Hence, Head of the Political Bureau of the Palestinian Hamas movement Ismail Haniyeh announced on July 19 that the group has accepted an Egyptian proposal for reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
Earlier this month, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process NickolayMladenovspoketo Egypt Today in an exclusive interview about Palestinian rival factions reconciliation, Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the two-state solution and the “deal of century”.
Mladenov affirmed in his statements that Cairo government has always been, and still is, a vital and key player amid the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, adding that Rafah border crossing, which Egypt opens regularly to ease people’s suffering in Gaza, is considered to be a “lifeline” for Palestinians.
He added that the United Nations is doing its best to back Egypt’s efforts to reach complete reconciliation among Palestinian factions. He affirmed that Egypt has done a lot already to reach stability and decrease violence.
Egypt has been backing the Palestinian reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas for a long time.
The reconciliation efforts under Egypt’s auspices officially began in October, when Egypt succeeded to hold a historic meeting between leaders of Fatah and Hamas, turning over the ten-year-old dispute for the sake of a new era of consensus, as the two parties reactivated the Cairo Agreement signed in 2011.
Removing the disagreements and finding common ground has always been Egypt's goal,enabling it to keep the negotiations open. Egyptian leaders have reiterated on various occasions that the unity between Fatah, Hamas and other Palestinian factions is a must for serious negotiations with Israel over an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders whose capital city is East Jerusalem.
For their part, the Palestinian factions have insisted on giving Egypt the leading role in running the mediation between them. They believe Egypt has no hidden ambitions, unlike other regional powers that seek benefits from Palestinian territory.
Cairo has played a key role in the reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas. In October 2017, a reconciliation agreement was signed in Cairo between both parties. A high-profile Egyptian delegation has been visiting Gaza frequently during the past period to meet with all parties in order to ease any tensions that may prevent the reconciliation agreement from being fully-implemented.
On Feb. 25, the delegation started one of its longest visits, which lasted until March 8. During the visit, the delegation met with several Palestinian leaders from all parties and factions.
The list of separate meetings included meetings with Palestinian Minister of Transportation SamehTubeila, Palestinian Minister of Culture Ihab Bseiso, head of Hamas’ political bureau Ismail Haniyeh, a number of tribal heads in Gaza, and several members of the Palestinian unity government, according to Palestinian media outlets.
Earlier, on Dec. 6, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the relocation of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. Backing Trump’s move, Guatemala, Honduras and Romania also announced their willingness to move their embassies to Jerusalem.
On April 3, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas received Egyptian Intelligence Service Chief Abbas Kamel and his accompanying delegation at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah.
The Egyptian delegation was on mission to deliver an important message from President Sisi to his Palestinian counterpart. For his part, Abbas stressed the depth of relations between the Egyptian and Palestinian leadership and people, and the Palestinian leadership's keenness to boost relations in the framework of the mutual interest of the two brotherly peoples.
During the meeting, they discussed the latest developments in the Palestinian territories and the Egyptian efforts exerted to achieve inter-Palestinian reconciliation.
On September 17, 2017, Hamas announced the dissolution of its administrative committee in the Gaza Strip, inviting the Government of National Reconciliation to assume its duties and hold general elections. The movement affirmed it would comply with the Social Reconciliation Accord signed in 2011.
President Abbas said in statements to media outlets that there is no country as vital to the Palestinian cause as Egypt due to its historical and political position in the region. “Egypt has an opinion, a position and an interest in the Palestinian cause,” said Abbas.
Additional report by Nawal Sayed