Hamas leaders in Egypt for cease-fire talks

Details, sticking points to be finalized

GAZA CITY (CNN) -  

A high-level delegation from Gaza has arrived in Egypt "to complete arrangements for cease-fire talks" involving sticking points between Hamas and Israel, Hamas said in a statement Sunday.

Talks are set to resume Monday in Cairo between Israelis and Egyptians to further discuss the details of the cease-fire, which began to take hold last week, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's office said.

Discussions will include topics such as opening border crossings and easing Israel's economic blockade in Gaza, Haniyeh's office said.

 

The cease-fire was brokered last week after Israel launched a series of strikes on Gaza with the stated goal of halting Israel-bound rocket attacks from militants in the Palestinian territory. The ongoing talks come as Palestinian Authority leaders plan to renew their bid for statehood before the United Nations this week.

"All the Palestinian factions are behind us as we go tomorrow to the United Nations," Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday in a speech broadcast on Palestine TV.

But the Gaza-based Hamas has long opposed the gambit that Abbas launched last year, and Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu said Sunday that there was "no truth" to reports that Haniyeh's office "has blessed the move to go to the United Nations."

At least one Hamas member expressed support for the statehood bid over the weekend. Nasser al-Shaer, a former government minister and Hamas deputy, said he supports the U.N. bid, according to Hamas-run and Palestinian Authority-run media.

A vote on the Palestinian status is expected at the United Nations on Thursday.

Meanwhile, a restriction has been loosened for Palestinian fishermen as part of the Hamas-Israel cease-fire deal, the Hamas movement said.

The fishermen are now permitted to head out six nautical miles offshore, rather than three, according to a statement issued by Haniyeh.

The head of Egyptian intelligence, who helped spearhead the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, informed Haniyeh of the move, the statement said.

There was no immediate reaction from Israel.

Egypt and the United States helped forge the cease-fire as Israeli ground forces gathered near the Gaza border for a possible ground invasion. The eight-day conflict left more than 160 Palestinians dead, many of whom were civilians.

Six Israelis also died, including civilians and soldiers.

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