Egypt Expecting Hamas-Fatah Dialogue

[Al-Ahram-Egypt] Serene Assir - Eighty Palestinians with ties to Hamas and Islamic Jihad returned to Gaza in the early hours of 30 September purportedly without Israeli intervention or prior knowledge. They had been stranded in Egypt since 9 June. According to Major General Salaheddin Selim, a military expert with close ties to the Egyptian regime, "the return was secured following negotiations between Ismail Haniyeh and the Egyptian authorities." Egyptian officials said Cairo does not intend on severing whatever contact with Hamas it deems necessary. Asked whether he believed the negotiation that led to the men's return signaled an improvement in Hamas-Egyptian relations, Selim replied that, "Egypt has already made it clear that in any negotiation process all the Palestinian factions must be taken into account." Cairo has consistently denied that it supports the siege on Gaza, or the closure of the Rafah terminal. Egypt is certain that, sooner or later, "possibly after the upcoming peace summit," Hamas and Fatah will have to enter into some kind of serious dialogue.

2007-10-08 01:00:00

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