The head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service, Minister Abbas Kamel, concluded a visit that lasted several hours to the Gaza Strip, during which he met with the leadership of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Gaza and briefed it on his discussions with officials in Israel and the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
Kamel met with Hamas chief in Gaza Yahya Sinwar and the movement’s leadership in the Strip in a closed meeting at the Al-Mashtal Hotel, west of Gaza City. In another meeting, he met representatives of Hamas and the Palestinian factions in the city.
Sources close to Hamas described to Al-Jazeera Net the meeting between Kamel and his accompanying delegation and the movement’s leadership that it was “intimate” and reflected the remarkable development in the relationship of the two parties, which was clearly evident during the recent Israeli war on Gaza, which ended with an Egyptian-sponsored ceasefire agreement.
Kamel’s talks with Hamas focused on 3 main files related to stabilizing the ceasefire, rebuilding what was destroyed by the Israeli war, and exchanging prisoners, in addition to other issues related to Cairo’s keenness to revive the path of reconciliation and ending the division.
Reliable sources told Al-Jazeera Net that the Egyptian minister put Hamas in the form of the Egyptian efforts to reach the ceasefire agreement to a long truce that would allow a state of security and stability and the start of reconstruction operations.
Kamel assured the Hamas leadership that the Authority would be a key partner in the reconstruction file, which is the “gate” that neither Cairo nor the international community can ignore to passage to Gaza for the sake of reconstruction.
Hamas was proposing the idea of establishing an “independent commission” headed by a nationally agreed upon and internationally accepted figure to assume the task of overseeing the reconstruction file, to overcome the slow pace and suspicions of corruption that took place in this file after the third Israeli war on Gaza in 2014.
But the Palestinian Authority and Israel absolutely reject this idea, and the occupation demanded guarantees that Hamas would not benefit from aid and reconstruction funds.
According to the sources, Hamas assured the Egyptian minister that it does not expect any of these funds, and what it wants is “speed and transparency” in the reconstruction process and the management of aid funds.
As for Egypt, this process must be preceded by an agreement on a lull arrangement that guarantees the non-renewal of armed confrontation, which is what the Egyptian minister also discussed with the Israelis, and according to this, Egypt has a vision for a long-term truce agreement under international auspices.
Hamas had repeatedly affirmed its agreement to the calm if Israel stopped settlement in the West Bank and its violations against Jerusalemites, and completely lifted the siege on Gaza.
Reviving the path of reconciliation
Kamel discussed with the Hamas leadership the issue of returning to the path of reconciliation, which was hampered by the decision of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to postpone the legislative elections that were scheduled for May 22.
Al Jazeera Net learned that Kamel presented to President Abbas and the Hamas leadership in Gaza Cairo’s readiness to host meetings of the faction’s general secretaries in order to resume reconciliation efforts.
As for Cairo, it is necessary to transcend the page of the internal Palestinian disputes in order to move to a new stage so that the Palestinians will be able to address the world with one tongue in order to reach a “political solution” to the conflict with Israel.
In this context, Khalil al-Hayya, deputy head of Hamas in Gaza, said in a press conference after the meeting with the Egyptian minister, “We discussed several files, the most important of which is the necessity to oblige the occupation to stop its aggression in Gaza, Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah and all places of Palestine, and to restrain the settlers from our people, and to lift the siege on Gaza completely.” “.
Al-Hayya added that the talks with Minister Kamel discussed “arranging the Palestinian house and agreeing on a national strategy to stand before the world with a strategic vision to extract our rights.”
He explained that Hamas and Egypt stressed the need to implement the international resolutions that stipulated the establishment of a Palestinian state, the return of refugees, and other decisions, “and if that
prisoner exchange deal
According to al-Hayya, Egypt understands Hamas’s stance that refuses to link the prisoner exchange file with Israel to the reconstruction and truce files or any other files, “it is an independent file.”
Before starting the reconstruction, Israel requires Hamas to release two Israeli soldiers it captured during the 2014 war, and refuses to disclose their fate if they are alive or dead, in addition to two others with Israeli citizenship who had entered Gaza in mysterious circumstances.
Earlier, a source close to Hamas confirmed to Al-Jazeera Net that Cairo is seeking to accomplish a deal similar to the one it sponsored in 2011, which included Hamas’s release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured by the movement in June 2006, in exchange for Israel’s liberation of more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners. .
Abbas Kamel is considered the most senior Egyptian official to visit Gaza since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi assumed the presidency of Egypt in 2014, the first since he assumed office in 2018, which is what the political analyst close to Hamas Ibrahim Al-Madhoun puts in the context of Egypt raising its degree of interest and its ability to move in key Palestinian files.
The Egyptian minister arrived in Gaza on Monday afternoon through the Israeli-controlled Beit Hanoun (Erez) crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, on a visit that lasted for hours, and was preceded by a similar visit to Israel on Sunday, during which he met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, security and military officials, and had another meeting with the President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah.