A senior Egyptian intelligence official will oversee talks between the rival Hamas and Fatah on reshaping their security forces, a Palestinian official said on Friday.
The unity agreement signed this week called for a security oversight committee to work out the details of the thorny issue of reforming the partisan security forces.
“We were informed on Friday by Egyptian officials of the formation of a panel of experts including General Ibrahim Mohammed, the deputy chief of Egyptian intelligence,” said Yasser Al Wadiah, an independent politician from Gaza.
Wadiah returned on Thursday night from Cairo where he had attended the signing of the surprise reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah.
Members of this oversight committee would visit Gaza soon “for intensive meetings with all parties to begin implementing the terms of the agreement,” he added.
The issue of integrating the rival security set up is considered particularly problematic, with Fatah and Hamas forces having clashed in the past.
Wadiah also said talks would begin next week on picking the prime minister of the interim government.
Meanwhile, Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu wound up a diplomatic offensive meant to head off French and British support for a Palestinian statehood initiative, with aides declaring him encouraged so far.
Netanyahu told reporters on Thursday that Sarkozy had backed his demand that the Palestinians recognise Israel as “the state of the Jewish people.”
Sarkozy himself did not speak and his office restated France’s policy of support “for the solution of two nation states living side-by-side in peace and security, within safe and recognised borders.” Netanyahu was buoyed by a statement issued by Cameron’s office after his talks there.
“Prime Minister Cameron said that any new Palestinian government must reject violence, recognise Israel’s right to exist and engage in the peace process, and that Britain would judge it by its actions,” it said, .
Netanayhu said he found a similar attitude in Paris, and Israeli officials said that France was also committed to the preconditions, laid down by the diplomatic Quartet.
Meanwhile, India welcomed the signing of an agreement between the two rival Palestinian political forces, Hamas and Fatah, and hoped it will lead to peace and stability in the region. Agencies