CAIRO: Hours after an Egyptian security delegation visited Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas political bureau, revealed that Egypt is mediating between the militant group and Israel to reach a new agreement on a prisoner swap.
Haniyeh told journalists in Beirut on Friday that Hamas welcomes Cairo’s role in arranging a new prisoner swap.
“The brothers in Egypt are following up on many files, including reconciliation, the siege, the Rafah crossing and the prisoner swap,” he said.
Haniyeh did not clarify whether there has been progress in the prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel.
Israel says that Hamas has held four Israeli soldiers captive since launching an attack on the Gaza Strip in 2014.
On Friday, the Egyptian intelligence service delegation left for Israel following a 24-hour visit to Gaza.
Sources told Palestinian newspapers that security officials led by Maj. Gen. Ahmed Abdel Khalek met with Hamas leaders, including Rawhi Mushtaha, to discuss issues related to Palestine.
Last August, the delegation visited Gaza for talks with Hamas leaders to confirm cease-fire agreements reached in late 2018.
Maj. Gen. Tawfiq Abu Naim, a Ministry of the Interior spokesman in Gaza, said Egyptian delegation’s visit is expected to “yield positive results in terms of the situation in Gaza, not just the opening of the Rafah crossing.”
He said that Egypt “has always sought to meet the needs of Gaza.”