Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo Earlier this week.
Wafa News reported that al-Sisi “affirmed that Egypt will continue its efforts to resume negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides in order to reach a just and comprehensive solution that guarantees the right of the Palestinians to establish an independent state along June 1967 borders”. On 1 November, Hamas began the process of handing over the three Gaza border crossings to the PA, as part of the September reconciliation agreement that was brokered by Egypt.
The main sticking point to further reconciliation agreements is the status of Hamas’s military wing. Abbas has said that he will not accept a “Hezbollah model” in which an organisation is both part of government but maintains its own military wing. Egypt has delayed any discussion on this issue. Other outstanding issues include the payment of civil service salaries and whether Hamas will join the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
Abbas later flew to Riyadh where he is scheduled to meet Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman. The PA Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bassem al-Agha, said that Abbas’s visit to Riyadh “comes in the context of continuing bilateral communications and deepening ties between the two countries”.