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Haniyeh aide: Egypt intel officials planning visit

Jan. 16, 2012 11:42 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 18, 2012 4:27 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- An advisor to Gaza-based Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Monday that a delegation from the Egyptian intelligence was expected to visit the Gaza Strip and West Bank to aid the reconciliation process.

Yousef Rizqa said Egyptian officials will visit in the next few weeks to push forward implementation of the May 2011 deal between Hamas and Fatah, which was brokered in Cairo.

"We believe this visit will be valuable and will improve many issues, particularly passports, political prisoners and the coming election," Rizqa said in a press statement.

Hamas has demonstrated it is serious about achieving reconciliation, illustrated by the handover of the presidential compound to Fatah announced by the premier last week, the aide said.

He reiterated the party's opposition to PLO meetings with Israeli delegates in Amman, the latest bid sponsored by the Quartet to revive negotiations.

Rizqa said he doesn't expect the meetings to be beneficial because the Israeli government will use them as a cover to continue violating Palestinian rights through land confiscation and settlements.

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