CAIRO, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- A senior Israeli official will pay a lighting
visit to Egypt on Thursday for talks with Egyptian mediators on a lasting
ceasefire with Palestinian groups.
Amos Gilad, head of Israeli Defense Ministry's Diplomatic Security Bureau,
will arrive in Cairo later in the day, the Egyptian MENA news agency reported.
Gilad is expected to hold talks with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar
Suleiman, who is in charge of the mediation talks between Israel and Palestinian
groups, MENA quoted an official Egyptian source as saying.
Earlier in the day, MENA said the Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement will
give its final decision on Saturday on a long-term ceasefire deal with Israel.
During the past four days, a visiting Hamas delegation held four rounds of
intensive talks with Egyptian mediators on the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
Representatives of the Hamas team are due to leave for Damascus and Gaza
Thursday for consultations with other Palestinian factions to adopt a final
decision on the ceasefire.
The Hamas team will "return to Cairo on Saturday with a final decision,"
said MENA, citing a well-informed Egyptian source.
More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed and about 5,500 others wounded in
the 22-day Israeli offensive on Gaza, which died out on Jan. 18 with the warring
sides carried out unilateral ceasefire respectively.
Spokesman: Hamas delegation to return Cairo
for more consultations over truce with Israel
GAZA, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Hamas said Thursday that its
delegation, which is leaving Egypt to return Gaza later in the day after talks
with Egyptian officials over a possible truce with Israel, would be back to
Cairo on Saturday for more consultations.
Hamas spokesman in Gaza Fawzi Barhoum said in a
statement that "a deal on a truce was not reached because the Israeli offer we
received through the Egyptian mediator links between the case of (captured
Israeli soldier) Gilad Shalit and ending the blockade and reopening Gaza
crossings." Full story