File picture shows Islamic Jihad member Khaled al-Batsh speaking to the press during an announcement in Gaza City, on June 27, 2006
File picture shows Islamic Jihad member Khaled al-Batsh speaking to the press during an announcement in Gaza City, on June 27, 2006 © Mahmud Hams - AFP/File
File picture shows Islamic Jihad member Khaled al-Batsh speaking to the press during an announcement in Gaza City, on June 27, 2006
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AFP
Last updated: August 5, 2014

Palestinian negotiators enter Egypt for truce talks

Three remaining members of a Palestinian delegation negotiating a longer-term truce in Gaza were on their way to Cairo Tuesday after entering Egypt through the Rafah crossing, state media reported.

Israel and Hamas halted their fighting in Gaza from 0500 GMT Tuesday after a three-day temporary truce brokered by Cairo went into effect. Israel also withdrew its troops from the coastal enclave.

The three Palestinian leaders who entered Egypt were Islamic Jihad member, Khaled al-Batsh, and senior Hamas officials Khalil al-Haya and Emad El-Elmy, said the official MENA news agency.

A joint Palestinian delegation representing president Mahmud Abbas's Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Islamic Jihad has been in Cairo for the past few days at Egypt's invitation.

Israel earlier refused to send its negotiators, but an official said Tuesday that a team representing it was on its way to Cairo.

The main demands proposed to Egyptian mediators by the Palestinian delegation are a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, the end of the siege of the enclave, and opening its border crossings.

They have also demanded fishing rights up to 12 nautical miles off Gaza's coast and the release of Palestinian prisoners demanded by Hamas and Abbas.

Egyptian mediators are to forward these demands to the Israelis.

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