Despite the Islamic Jihad’s refusal, in a statement last Thursday, to be signatory to an Egyptian-brokered truce with Israel, Egypt’s efforts to negotiate peace between Palestinian factions and Israel have become a focus of attention in the Middle East region. The statement also said that they – the Islamic Jihad — would not be the first to violate the truce, considered the first of its kind to end hostilities in the Gaza strip.
By Kaci Racelma our Northern Africa correspondent
Egypt is expecting Israel to accept and implement the cease-fire proposal in spite of the equivocal position of the various Palestinian factions who deem it legitimate to strike back and retaliate against Israeli assaults.
The statement addressed to the exiled Islamic jihad Zeyad al-Nakhala from its current deputy, explaining the reasons for not wanting to be party to the truce agreement, pleads for the reopening of Gaza strip borders to ease the suffering of the people of Gaza.
According to official Palestinian sources, Egyptian intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, is expected to pay a visit to the Hebrew state to broker an Israeli accord. However, Hamas representative to Algeria, Abu Ahmad, opined that Israel has been taking decisions unilaterally without considering the woes of the Palestinian people.
Constraints to the Egyptian negotiators to attain agreements have not only been limited to contacts with Israel but also with some of the Palestinian factions, although separate talks between Egyptian mediators and representatives of the various Palestinian factions which began weeks ago have seen a number of the factions agreeing to proposed Egyptian terms.
The Rafah crossing reopening is reported to have been formulated by Egyptian mediators to ease the passage of people and merchandise. Zyad, a Palestinian student in Algiers considers the efforts to reach a ceasefire between Palestinians and Israel as a first positive step. “It is more than necessary to put an end to the longstanding crisis which has had an enormous political impact on the Middle East relations”.