Cairo, Dec 24 (EFE).- A delegation from the militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, led by its secretary-general Ziyad al-Nakhalah, arrived in Cairo on Sunday for talks on ways to “end the aggression” against the Gaza Strip and discuss the situation in the Palestinian enclave, according to various sources.
A Palestinian diplomatic source told EFE that al-Nakhalah will meet with the head of the Egyptian General Intelligence, General Abbas Kamel, with a “clear vision” to “stop the aggression, withdraw the occupation forces from the Gaza Strip and carry out reconstruction and prisoner exchanges”.
The main focus of these talks will be to find ways to “end the Israeli aggression” on Gaza, although PIJ, an ally of Hamas that participated in the Oct. 7 attack and is currently holding hostages from that day, has strongly rejected any new hostage exchange agreement with Israel until the Israeli military assault on the Palestinian Strip is halted, according to the Palestinian source.
PIJ is a radical Palestinian organisation listed as a terrorist group by Israel, the United States and the European Union, which operates in Gaza, the West Bank and Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.
Unlike other Palestinian factions, PIJ refuses to engage in political peace processes and insists that military victory over Israel is the only viable means of achieving its ultimate goal: the establishment of a Palestinian state encompassing Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
In addition to this meeting, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, the same Palestinian source confirmed that Egypt, as mediator, was preparing to organize a tripartite meeting that would include the head of the political wing of the Islamist group Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh.
On Wednesday, Haniyeh met in the Egyptian capital with the country’s intelligence chief to discuss proposals for a prisoner swap.
But Hamas on Thursday rejected any exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners unless it is accompanied by a permanent cease-fire in Gaza.
Hamas and PIJ launched an attack on Israel on Oct. 7 in which more than 1,200 people were killed and some 240 kidnapped, prompting Israel to declare war and launch a military offensive in the Gaza Strip that has left at least 20,424 dead and 54,036 wounded, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry. EFE sr-rsm/ics