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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Egyptian mediators work to shore up cease-fire

The diplomat said Saturday discussions include implementing agreed-on measures in Gaza and Jerusalem, including ways to prevent practices that led to the latest fighting.

By: AP | Cairo |
May 22, 2021 5:29:19 pm
Palestinians inside the Al-Aqsa mosque clash with Israeli security forces at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City Monday, May 10, 2021. (AP Photo)

An Egyptian diplomat says two teams of Egyptian mediators are in Israel and the Palestinian territories to continue talks on firming up a cease-fire deal – and securing a long-term calm.

The diplomat said Saturday discussions include implementing agreed-on measures in Gaza and Jerusalem, including ways to prevent practices that led to the latest fighting.

The official did not elaborate. He was apparently referring to violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the planned eviction of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in east Jerusalem.

The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss behind-the-scenes deliberations.

The cease-fire took effect Friday. The 11-day war left more than 250 dead – the vast majority Palestinians – and brought widespread devastation to the already impoverished Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The diplomat also said Israel has given a green light to Gaza fishermen to return to sea Saturday as part of the cease-fire deal.

The Egyptian delegations arrived in Israel and the Palestinian territories Friday, according to Egypt’s official MENA news agency. The delegations met with Palestinian factions in Gaza directly after they arrived, MENA reported.

Hussein Sheikh, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, tweeted that one of the Egyptian delegation planned to hold talks with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on Saturday.

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