A high-level delegation from Gaza’s ruling Hamas group is in Egypt to discuss border arrangements with the Egyptian government. A spokesperson for Hamas, Ismail Radwan, confirmed the delegation would be discussing various aspects of the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt.
Radwan said the movement of people and goods across the Gaza-Egypt border is being discussed, as well as the freedoms of farmers along the border. He confirmed the meeting was related to the peace talks, but could not confirm whether the delegation itself would be officially part of the next round of talks.
“These are negotiations about details of things we agreed on before,” Radwan said.
Peace talks mediated by Egypt between Israel and Hamas are set to continue on Monday, where wider discussions on border crossings and the easing of the Gaza blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt.
Hamas was elected in 2006, and established a unified government with rival group Fatah. The arrangement lasted barely a year before tensions between Fatah and Hamas led to a split in the government and renewed fighting between the two.
Hamas managed to retain control of the Gaza Strip but has been virtually cut off from the outside world due to the Israeli blockade, which has caused severe shortages of luxury and essential goods. Cross-border tunnels between Gaza and Egypt became a crucial channel for importing restricted goods, including medicine, foodstuffs, cars and weapons.
Israel says the blockade is necessary to halt Hamas’ aggressive tactics and that essential goods are still entering Gaza from Israel. The United States is Israel’s largest supporter regarding the blockade, but many other countries regard the blockade as illegal, as do most international law experts.