A security delegation from the Egyptian General Intelligence Service arrived yesterday in the occupied Gaza Strip to follow up the implementation of the Egypt-brokered reconciliation agreement which was signed last month between Hamas and Fatah.
According to official Palestinian sources, the delegation, who entered Gaza through the Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing, included the deputy head of the Palestinian dossier at the Egyptian intelligence, Major General Hammam Abu-Zeid, and the Egyptian Consul-General in Ramallah, Khaled Sami.
The delegation is due to hold meetings with the reconciliation parties including the Palestinian Authority's (PA) Deputy Prime Minister, Ziad Abu Amr, as well as officials from Hamas, according to the sources.
In mid-October, Hamas and Fatah met in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to discuss reconciliation, under the auspices of the Egyptian authorities. They agreed to advance reconciliation efforts as well as allowing the PA to carry out its responsibilities and authorities over Gaza. A recent meeting of the Palestinian factions ended in deadlock after failing to reach a decision on lifting the sanctions imposed on Gaza.
Over the past few days, the PA repeatedly stressed that "empowering the government [PA]" is prerequisite for discussing all the Palestinian national issues.
This visit comes at a time when Hamas has been declaring its willingness to offer more flexibility to the PA on condition that all the Hamas employees, who were appointed after 2007, would be kept in their current positions. It also stipulated that the talks about the Gaza resistance weapons "should not be compromised."