Monday,24 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1297, (26 May - 1 June 2016)
Monday,24 September, 2018
Issue 1297, (26 May - 1 June 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Islamic Jihad in Cairo

Egypt is hosting representatives of Islamic Jihad as part of a series of meetings with Palestinian factions geared towards pushing the peace process forward, reports Ahmed Eleiba

Al-Ahram Weekly

An Islamic Jihad delegation, headed by the movement’s secretary-general, Ramadan Shalah, has arrived in Cairo for talks with Egypt’s General Intelligence. The two sides are to discuss ways to push forward reconciliation efforts between Palestinian factions.

The move comes on the heels of last week’s call by President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, made during a speech in Assiut, for Palestinian factions to reconcile. Al-Sisi also called on Israel to respond to the new peacemaking efforts.

The talks with Islamic Jihad have been productive, according to Egyptian sources involved in the negotiations. Delegates from Hamas and Fatah are expected to arrive in Cairo next week for their own negotiations.

“The delegation’s visit is a part of ongoing negotiations with Palestinian factions to discuss reconciliation efforts following Al-Sisi’s speech,” said Ziad Nakhal, Islamic Jihad’s secretary-general. “Further meetings will be held with other Palestinian movements.”

Two months ago Cairo held talks with Hamas to discuss border security. No further meetings have been held.

Egyptian officials say Hamas’ response to Cairo’s security demands has not progressed beyond a formal acknowledgment. They say that the relationship between the two sides is failing on many fronts. Yet Hamas announced this week that it had arrested four of its members as they attempted to enter Sinai via a cross-border tunnel.

Egypt has been strengthening its ties with Islamic Jihad since Israel’s 2014 assault on the Gaza Strip. The delegation that visited Cairo last week had earlier participated in negotiations with Palestinian factions to end the conflict as Cairo was conversing with Israel in the hope of achieving the same goal.

“Cairo is willing to push for Palestinian reconciliation, the proof being Al-Sisi’s invitation — the first of its kind,” said an expert on Palestinian affairs at Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Another invitation followed, presented by the parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee. The latter’s invitation, however, has yet to be looked into.”

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