Egypt continued efforts to secure a lasting peace in Gaza on Monday when it opened separate talks with Hamas and Israel to bolster the terms of last week's ceasefire agreement. The hostilities cost the lives of 167 Palestinians and six Israelis.
Egyptian mediators began separate talks on Monday with Hamas and with Israel to flesh out details of a ceasefire agreed last week that ended eight days of fighting in the Gaza Strip.
An Egyptian official told Reuters the talks would discuss Palestinian demands for the opening of more Israeli crossings into Gaza - a move that would help end six years of blockade of the coastal enclave ruled by the Islamist Hamas.
The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into force last Wednesday, ending hostilities between the two sides that cost the lives of 167 Palestinians and six Israelis.
Israel imposed restrictions on Gaza in 2006, following an election victory by Hamas, which refuses to recognise Israel’s right to exist. The curbs were tightened, and backed by Egypt, after Hamas seized control of the enclave in a civil war.
Some of the import and export limits have since been eased, but Israel still prevents a long list of goods into the territory - including many items needed for construction - arguing they could be used for the manufacture of weapons.
Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar told reporters on Saturday that the group wanted to see the opening of all four goods crossings with Israel that used to operate before 2006.
Date created : 2012-11-26