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Palestinians and Israel invited for Egypt talks

AP
Filed on May 27, 2021 | Last updated on May 28, 2021 at 12.18 am
Reuters

There are talks about a possible release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel in return for Israelis held by Hamas.


Egypt has invited Israel, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority for separate talks that aim at consolidating the cease-fire that ended an 11-day war between Israel and the Gaza Strip's militant Hamas rulers, an Egyptian intelligence official said on Thursday. The talks would also focus on accelerating the reconstruction process in Gaza.

"We are seeking a long-term truce, that would enable further discussions and possibly direct talks," said the official, who had close knowledge of the proceedings that had led to the ceasefire and who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He said the talks could start as early as next week, and that Israel has given their initial approval, but that a final agenda is still in the works. He said that there are talks about a possible release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel in return for Israelis held by Hamas. Both issues were discussed with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit on Wednesday, and with the Qatari foreign minister who was in Cairo on Tuesday.

An Israeli official on condition of anonymity said the government is working closely with Egyptian officials 'to reinforce the cease-fire,' but would not confirm whether Israeli officials would be attending more official talks soon.

Abdelatif Al Qanou, a spokesman for Hamas, confirmed that the group's leader Ismail Haniyeh would visit Cairo next week and that the group is open to discussing a prisoner swap.





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