Egypt will send a security delegation to Israel in the coming days for talks reportedly centered on the Egyptian-brokered Israeli-Hamas truce and on opening the Gaza border, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported on Monday.
According to an anonymous Egyptian security official, Egypt will push for Israel to allow commercial goods to enter Gaza via the Gazan-Egyptian border. Egypt and Israel maintain security cooperation regarding the Gaza Strip’s borders.
The meeting comes several days after two separate visits by Israeli delegations to Cairo for what are being called indirect talks with Hamas.
“Israel has agreed to allow entry of construction material from Qatar, which the Israelis refused before,” the Egyptian official said. “This reflects that both sides have been holding talks behind the scenes to avoid alerting the public in Egypt, which refuses cooperation with Israel and the United States.”
Last week, it was reported that Israeli and Egyptian defense officials met at the Cairo airport for general talks on regional security issues, and that such meetings, which also include indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas via Egyptian intermediaries, have been going on for several weeks.
Israel has maintained a naval blockade of Gaza since 2007, and has allowed only restricted goods into the Strip via land crossings, in an effort to reduce arms smuggling to ruling Hamas, an Islamist organization which calls for Israel’s destruction.
Israel in December started allowing previously banned building materials into the Gaza Strip, one of the concessions to Hamas under the ceasefire agreement that came about as a result of Operation Pillar of Defense in November.
Ilan Ben Zion contributed to this report.