A ranking delegation from Hamas enters the Egyptian capital to discuss the latest political and field developments concerning the blockaded Gaza Strip that was recently hit by an Israeli war but returned the aggression with unprecedented defensive maneuvers.
The officials, who arrived in the city at Cairo’s invitation on Tuesday, were being led by the Gaza-based resistance movement’s Political Bureau Chief Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas said in a statement.
Mousa Abu Marzouq, Hamas’ deputy leader, and Saleh al-Arouri, Haniyeh’s deputy, are accompanying the delegation alongside five other senior figures from the group.
More than 260 Palestinians, including 66 children, 39 women, and 17 elderly people, were martyred, and 1948 others wounded during the war last month.
The regime launched the offensive after the coastal sliver rose up in protest at the Israeli regime’s escalation targeting Palestinians in the nearby Tel Aviv-occupied territory of the West Bank.
The statement said the talks were to feature a “special” focus on Operation Sword of al-Quds.
Gaza’s resistance groups launched the armed campaign to defend the Palestinian enclave and the rest of the Palestinian territories against Israeli aggression during the 12-day war.
The Gazan groups fired upwards of 4,000 rockets towards the occupied territories during the operation, eventually forcing the regime to demand a ceasefire.
Egypt has repeatedly been involved in negotiation processes involving Palestinians and Tel Aviv in the past, including the latest war.
According to Hamas’ statement, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt's president, and Mahmoud Abbas, president of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, were also to follow pending talks between Hamas and Egyptian officials.
Some news outlets have alleged that the negotiations were also to address potential prisoner exchange between Gaza and the occupied territories and further entrenchment of the ceasefire in Tel Aviv’s violence towards the territory, as other important subject matters.
Hamas recently released previously unseen footage of Gilad Schalit, an Israeli trooper, whom the group held from 2006 to 2011, and an audio track belonging to Avera Mengistu, another Israeli in its ongoing captivity.
The group has been holding the hostages as a bargaining chip in negotiations potentially enabling the release of thousands of Palestinians, who are being held in dire conditions in Israeli jails. By keeping Schalit, it managed to secure the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian inmates.
Hamas’ sources had earlier reported that the movement had agreed to participate in the Cairo negotiations on the condition that the talks would prioritize stabilization of the situation in Gaza.