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Egypt invites Hamas, PIJ to Cairo to discuss Israeli-Palestinian escalation

Ismail Haniyeh, chairman of the Political Bureau of the Hamas group, delivers a speech during a rally at the southern Lebanese port city of Sidon. (Photo: Marwan Naamani/dpa - Alle Rechte vorbehalten)

Egypt welcomed a delegation from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group to Cairo last week to discuss easing tensions between Palestinians and Israel. 

PIJ head Ziyad al-Nakhalah led the delegation to Cairo, while his organization issued a statement saying, “The two sides … discussed bilateral relations, Egyptian efforts to ease the suffering of the Palestinian people and ways of restoring Palestinian unity.”

Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas, the Islamist terror group based in Gaza, is also expected to travel to Egypt for meetings with Abbas Kamel, director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate, and other Egyptian officials.

Egypt, with a history of negotiating between Israeli and Palestinian factions, sent Kamel to the West Bank city of Ramallah last week, where he met with Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA officials. 

Israel has seen an increase in clashes with PIJ militants during arrest raids in Jenin and Nablus, with the group carrying out several attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians over the past few months. 

Egypt issued a statement denouncing the terror attacks which targeted Israeli civilians in Jerusalem last weekend, while warning “of the severe dangers of the ongoing escalation between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, calling for the exercising of maximum restraint and an end to aggression and provocative measures.” 

Egypt is reportedly intent on restoring calm in Palestinian communities before the beginning of Ramadan in March. 

Besides negotiating between Israel and various Palestinian groups, Egypt has also attempted to initiate reconciliation between the Palestinian factions. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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