CAIRO (AFP) – A senior Hamas team led by the Islamist movement’s deputy leader Mussa Abu Marzuk held talks with Egyptian mediators on Thursday aimed at bolstering ceasefires in the Gaza Strip.
The delegation is the highest ranking team from Hamas to hold talks in Cairo since Egypt began mediating for a lasting truce after Israel’s devastating three-week war on the Gaza Strip.
The two sides each declared ceasefires which ended the Israeli offensive on the Hamas-ruled territory on January 18 but they have been tested by sporadic Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli air srikes.
Since the end of the war, Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman has met a number of times with Israeli and Hamas officials to try to bolster the fragile calm.
Hamas is demanding that Israel end the punishing blockade it imposed on Gaza after the Islamists seized control of Gaza in June 2007.