Egypt to Host New Mideast Talks

The Egyptian news agency MENA reports that Cairo will host talks between the rival Palestinian factions, followed by indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

The meeting between representatives of Fatah, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and Hamas leaders from Gaza is scheduled for Monday.

Hamas led a 50-day deadly conflict with Israel that ended in a ceasefire on August 26.

Palestinian negotiators will meet with their Israeli counterparts on Wednesday.

Israeli shelling has left much of the Gaza strip in ruins and about 2,100 people dead. The toll on Israel was comparatively small, with about 70 people killed.

Shortly before the conflict, Hamas and the more moderate Fatah agreed to form a unity government under President Abbas’ leadership. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist group and has condemned the move.

Palestinians want an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza, construction of a seaport and the release of Hamas prisoners from Israel. Israel wants control of Gaza’s borders to guard against the import of weapons.

Some information for this report comes from AFP and Reuters.

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