Citing Palestinian sources, Channel 13 says Hamas leader to hold talks with Egyptian intelligence officials in Cairo on Monday; UN special envoy also due to meet with Haniyeh to discuss outstanding issues such as return of IDF soldiers’ bodies and two Israeli captives

There has been “significant progress” in Egypt’s mediation efforts with Hamas to achieve an agreement for calm in Gaza, Channel 13 News reported Sunday, citing Palestinian sources.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is expected to meet senior intelligence officials in Cairo on Monday.

ניקולאי מלאדנוב מלדנוב שליח ה או"ם חמאס עזה איסמעיל הנייה יחיא סינוואר חליל אל חיה
UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov meeting with Hamas leaders in Gaza (Photo: Archive )


The report comes after a weekend of sporadic rocket from Gaza at southern Israel, to which the IDF responded with airstrikes on Hamas positions in the northern Strip.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday reiterated Israel’s position that Hamas was accountable for all attacks emanating from the coastal enclave in controls, including those launched by other organizations such as Islamic Jihad.

The Iranian-backed group was responsible for the hundreds of rockets fired at Israel during the a serious escalation last month.

בנימין נתניהו
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday (Photo: Reuters)


“We have acted against Islamic Jihad,” Netanyahu told the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

“It is of course our right to act against all terrorist elements, and we do not exempt Hamas of responsibility for any attack emanating from the Gaza Strip,” he said.

Hamas sources said Friday that contacts have been renewed over the past two days with various mediators, primarily Egyptian intelligence officials, regarding an agreement with Israel.

Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, which is considered very close to Hamas, reported that UN special envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov is expected to meet in the coming days with the Hamas leadership in order to complete the negotiations on the agreement.

Mladenov and the Hamas leadership will also discuss the possibility of reaching a long-term settlement agreement with Israel, which will include a solution to the most pressing issues – including the two Israeli captives and bodies of two fallen IDF soldiers held by Hamas and easing of the closure on the Strip.

ניקולאי מלדנוב ו שר הביטחון נפתלי בנט
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett meets with UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov (Photo: Courtesy)


The meeting is expected to take place just days after Mladenov met with Defense Minister Naftali Bennett.

A senior official involved in the negotiations told Ynet that despite the encouraging signs, there is still no breakthroughs on the issue of the two Israeli captives and KIAs.

He said, however, that there was an expectation that implementation of the agreement would lead the parties to begin talks on the sensitive issue of a prisoner deal as well.

As reported by Ynetnews