Rival Palestinian groups 'to meet Egyptian spy chiefs'

Rival Palestinian groups 'to meet Egyptian spy chiefs'
Palestinian factions will again meet Egyptian intelligence officials following a series of meetings this month.
2 min read
30 May, 2016
Mahmoud Abbas, 2nd L, has frequently met the Egyptian leadership [Getty]
Informed Egyptian sources have said that Cairo has invited Palestinian political factions for an "all-inclusive meeting" with the General Intelligence Service and its director, Major General Khaled Fawzi, to compete talks on "internal reconciliation".

"The Palestinian issue has returned to the top of priorities of the agenda," the source said. The meeting is also an attempt by Egyptian officials to gain prominence on an international platform, they added.

Previous meetings in Cairo between Palestinian groups and Egyptian authorities have also touched on the issues of reconciliation, after a rift between Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority and rules the West Bank, and Hamas, which has routed Fatah from its Gaza Strip power base, erupted after Hamas' election in 2006.  

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met on Saturday. 

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Cairo's head of general intelligence, Khaled Fawzi, also sat in on the meeting, alongside Major-General Majed Faraj, chief of Palestinian General Intelligence.

A delegation from Islamic Jihad also reportedly met with Egyptian intelligence agents earlier this month.  

Egyptian intelligence figures have reportedly been in frequent contact with Moussa Abu Marzouk, considered Hamas' deputy leader in Gaza, since a delegation from the movement visited Cairo last month.

The contacts are understood to have focused on matters relating to the border between the Gaza Strip and Sinai.

Despite Abbas' meeting with Egyptian officials, sources have previously told The New Arab that Egypt remains far closer to Abbas' arch-rival, Mohammed Dahlan, who has the strong backing of the United Arab Emirates - which in turn is among the chief backers of Sisi and his 2013 military coup.