During a meeting with Egypt’s Intelligence Minister Maj.-Gen. Abbas Kamel, the delegation discussed the situation in Jerusalem, including in Sheikh Jarrah and on the Temple Mount, as well as ways to “curb the behavior” of Israel in Jerusalem, the Hamas movement announced on Tuesday.
The delegation additionally discussed the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, with a focus on those being held in administrative detention, and pushed Egypt’s role in reaching a prisoner exchange agreement, citing “intransigence” on Israel’s side and a lack of progress on the issue.
Hamas is still holding Israeli citizens Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, and the bodies of IDF soldiers St.-Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin.
The Palestinian Safa News Agency reported on Tuesday that no breakthroughs were made concerning a prisoner exchange agreement during the meetings in Egypt. According to the report, the Hamas delegation warned that the situation could “explode” like it did in May during Operation Guardian of the Walls due to what it called “continuous Israeli violations and crimes” in Jerusalem and against prisoners, as well as the continuation of settlement building.
A source in the Hamas movement told al-Araby al-Jadeed on Tuesday that the delegation had informed Egypt that any truce agreement depends on the situation in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israeli prisons, saying that this condition came “as a surprise” to the Egyptians, with Egyptian officials reportedly stating that linking these issues would be difficult.
The source added that the factions in Gaza also intend to “defend” Arab-Israelis, stressing the role they played during Operation Guardian of the Walls. According to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, an Israeli delegation may visit Egypt in the coming days in order to be updated on efforts concerning a prisoner exchange deal.
While the Turkish Anadolu Agency and the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen reported on Tuesday that progress had been made in the talks concerning a calm agreement, Army Radio reported that a source in Hamas had said that no significant progress had been made.
The Commission for Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Affairs warned on Sunday that the prisoner movement in Israeli prisons has decided to start “escalating steps” in light of what it called “unprecedented Israeli attacks” on Palestinian prisoners.
Hamas expressed appreciation for Egypt’s role in Palestinian issues and concerning the Gaza Strip, including efforts to unify the Palestinian leadership, the reconstruction of Gaza and the issue of the Rafah Crossing, and called for more steps concerning trade and travel through the crossing.
Besides Haniyeh, the delegation included Saleh al-Arouri, Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, and Hamas officials Khaled Mashaal, Musa Abu Marzouk and Ruhi Mushtaha.
Hamas official (de facto premier) Issam al-Da’alis also joined the delegation to Egypt on Sunday to discuss the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and the work of Egyptian teams in Gaza, according to the Palestinian Safa news agency.
A delegation from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement is also expected to visit Cairo in the coming days after the commemoration of the 34th anniversary of the creation of the PIJ on October 6, according to the Palestinian Sawa news agency.
The PIJ delegation will discuss several important files, according to the report, which did not specify which issues would be discussed.
The Hamas visit and planned PIJ visit to Cairo come after a week in which eight Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire, including three Hamas operatives and three PIJ operatives.
Three Palestinians were killed by IDF fire on Thursday morning, one in the West Bank, one in Jerusalem, and one next to the perimeter fence in the northern Gaza Strip.
An IDF officer and soldier were severely wounded and five Palestinians were killed by IDF troops last Sunday after armed clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli security forces during a wave of arrest operations across the West Bank.