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Hamas: Egypt reaffirms its role as mediator pushing Israel to sign truce

March 4, 2019 at 11:02 am

Ismail Haniyeh (C), chairman of Hamas in Gaza City on 29 December 2018 [MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images]

Egypt is working to force Israel to commit to previously signed agreements and lift the siege on the Gaza Strip, a senior Hamas official said in a press conference yesterday.

“Egypt is working to compel Israel to commit to the agreements of the truce and lift the siege on Gaza Strip,” Khalil Al-Hayya said in Gaza City. This came following a meeting between Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh and factions and officials of the High Committee of the Great Return March and Breaking the Siege.

Haniyeh returned to Gaza from Egypt on Wednesday after a three-week visit to Cairo and announced that four Palestinians who had been abducted in Sinai would be released following talks.

Al-Hayya stated that during his visit to Cairo, Haniyeh stressed on “the Palestinian national constants and the need to put an end to the Palestinian division following the Palestinian common vision, and in accordance with the agreements signed between the factions during the past years.”

READ: 4 years on, Egypt releases four Palestinians 

“Haniyeh also reviewed the dangers threatening the Palestinian issue with the Egyptian officials,” and stressed “the need to end the Israeli siege on Gaza, which has been ongoing for about 12 years.”

For more than two months, an Egyptian delegation has been visiting Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, meeting officials from Hamas, Fatah and the Israeli government.

For months, Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations have been leading consultations to reach a truce between the Palestinian factions in Gaza and Israel, which will ease the blockade, in exchange for stopping the Palestinian “Great March of Return” which has seen popular peaceful protests at the Gaza-Israel fence for nearly one  year. More than 250 Palestinians have been killed while taking part in the protests, with the UN saying that Israel may have committed “war crimes” in its targeting of the protesters.