High-level Egyptian delegation arrives in Ramallah

High-level Egyptian delegation arrives in Ramallah

Team that managed Gazan ceasefire negotiations will now address Fatah-Hamas tensions

Avi Issacharoff

Avi Issacharoff, The Times of Israel's Middle East analyst, fills the same role for Walla, the leading portal in Israel. He is also a guest commentator on many different radio shows and current affairs programs on television. Until 2012, he was a reporter and commentator on Arab affairs for the Haaretz newspaper. He also lectures on modern Palestinian history at Tel Aviv University, and is currently writing a script for an action-drama series for the Israeli satellite Television "YES." Born in Jerusalem, he graduated cum laude from Ben Gurion University with a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies and then earned his M.A. from Tel Aviv University on the same subject, also cum laude. A fluent Arabic speaker, Avi was the Middle East Affairs correspondent for Israeli Public Radio covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Iraq and the Arab countries between the years 2003-2006. Avi directed and edited short documentary films on Israeli television programs dealing with the Middle East. In 2002 he won the "best reporter" award for the "Israel Radio” for his coverage of the second intifada. In 2004, together with Amos Harel, he wrote "The Seventh War - How we won and why we lost the war with the Palestinians." A year later the book won an award from the Institute for Strategic Studies for containing the best research on security affairs in Israel. In 2008, Issacharoff and Harel published their second book, entitled "34 Days - The Story of the Second Lebanon War," which won the same prize.

Illustrative photo of a Palestinian man waving Egyptian and Palestinian flags. (photo credit: AP/Adel Hana)
Illustrative photo of a Palestinian man waving Egyptian and Palestinian flags. (photo credit: AP/Adel Hana)

An Egyptian intelligence delegation, headed by General Weil Safta, deputy commander of Cairo’s intelligence service, and Brigadier General Ahmad Abad el-Hallach, arrived in Ramallah on Tuesday for a visit that was described as “urgent.”

The delegation is planning to hold a series of consultations on the Gazan ceasefire and on steps to calm tensions. The two Egyptians were integral in managing the negotiations between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which resulted in an open-ended ceasefire taking effect on August 26 to end the 50-day Israel-Hamas conflict which raged over the summer.

However, in the aftermath of the fighting, tensions between Hamas and Fatah are delaying the steps that will rebuild Gaza and improve the situation there, according to senior Palestinian officials.

Since the ceasefire came into effect, the sides have still not made any decisions or taken any actions regarding the rebuilding of Gaza.

In addition, there is still no agreement between the PA and Hamas about the transfer of funds to pay the salaries of Hamas clerks in Gaza, a central sticking point in the Fatah-Hamas unity government negotiations which were taking place before the outbreak of Israel-Hamas hostilities this summer.

According to sources in Gaza, at the Gazan crossing points there has been no change regarding the entrance of materials into the Strip. Import of building materials into Gaza has long been monitored by both Israel and Egypt.

The PA has established a committee composed of Fatah members which will establish a strategic dialogue with Hamas and force the Islamist organization to decide whether to turn toward full partnership or “divorce,” Palestinian sources say.

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