Fatah insists on Egypt as peace sponsor, Hamas criticizes border wall

In meetings with Egypt’s ambassador to the Palestinian Authority, Abu Maher Ghneim, the deputy head of the Palestinian Fatah movement, Yasser Othman, expressed gratitude for Egypt’s pivotal role and insisted that Egypt remain a sponsor of the peace process.

Ghneim reiterated Fatah’s position, calling on Palestinian factions to put an end to their differences as soon as possible.

Ghneim and Othman discussed efforts to revitalize the peace process. Ghneim told Othman that the Palestinians would resume negotiations based on international law and United Nations resolutions.

Hamas, Fatah’s rival for Palestinian leadership, expressed "deep regret" over President Mubarak’s statements criticizing Hamas. The Islamist group affirmed that Egypt will continue building a steel wall on the border with Gaza. Egypt says the wall is an attempt to prevent smuggling into the Gaza Strip, which has been under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since Hamas took control there in June 2007.

Moushir el-Masry, a senior leader in Hamas, called on Egypt to help lift the blockade on Gaza, emphasizing that Hamas "was and will be the keenest on Egyptian national security, and that the real threat to Arab national security is Israel."

American envoy for the Middle East George Mitchell left Cairo on Monday after a two-day visit to Egypt. Sources at the US Embassy in Cairo said Mitchell met with the foreign minister, Ahmed Abul Gheit, and the head of intelligence, Omar Suleiman, on Sunday.

Mitchell’s visit to the region also included stops in Lebanon, Syria, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and Jordan.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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