FILE - Head of Hamas delegation Saleh Arouri and Fatah leader Azzam Ahmad sign a reconciliation deal in Cairo, Egypt, October 12, 2017.
CAIRO – 30 July 2018: A high-level Hamas delegation is expected to arrive in Cairo on Monday, July 30, in order to resume the reconciliation negotiations with Fatah as per the Egyptian reconciliation initiative, according to Palestinian media outlets.
Seven senior officials of Hamas headed by Khalil al-Hayya headed to Cairo through the Gaza Border Crossing, according to media outlets. Meanwhile, the Fatah high-level delegation has remained in Egypt since their arrival on Sunday July 29.
The official delegation that arrived yesterday was supposed to deliver to the Egyptian government Fatah's final response to Egypt's reconciliation proposal.
Munir al-Jaghoub, head of Fatah's Information Department in the Office of Mobilization and Organization, said on Sunday that the delegation includes Head of Palestinian General Intelligence Service Majid Faraj and members of Fatah Central Committee Azzam al-Ahmad, Hussein al-Sheikh and Rawhi Fattouh.
Jaghoub remarked that the delegation headed to Cairo upon the request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss 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 sent proposals tackling the Palestinian reconciliation and that a delegation would head to Egypt on July 29 to deliver the response.
“We are committed to 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.
On July 11, a Hamas delegation headed by Hayya visited Cairo upon an invitation from the Egyptian intelligence to discuss the reconciliation as well as the situation in Gaza. During the visit, Egypt handed over several proposals to advance the stagnant process with Fatah.
On July 19, Head of the Political Bureau of the Palestinian Hamas movement Ismail Haniyeh announced that the group accepted an Egyptian proposal for reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
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 2017, when Egypt succeeded to hold a historic meeting between leaders of Fatah and Hamas, turning the ten-year-old dispute into a new era of consensus, as the two parties reactivated the Cairo Agreement signed in 2011.
Unraveling the disagreements and finding common ground between Palestinian factions 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 with East Jerusalem as its capital.