Egyptian security team to visit Israel

Feb. 19, 2013 at 5:50 AM

CAIRO, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- An Egyptian delegation will visit Israel to discuss the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and border crossings, an Egyptian security official said.

The unnamed official said an Israeli security delegation visited Cairo Sunday, the second such meeting in a week.

Israel's Channel 2 said the focus of the talks included asking Israel to allow Egypt to open the Rafah border crossing to facilitate the entry of Qatari-donated building materials and to permit the export of agricultural produce from the Gaza Strip to Israel.

The official told the Ma'an news agency, that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has had a number of discussions with Egyptian security officials after they met with their Israeli counterparts.

"Israel has agreed to allow the entry of construction material from Qatar which the Israelis refused before. This reflects that both sides have been holding talks behind the scenes to avoid alerting the public opinion in Egypt which refuses cooperation with Israel and the United States," the official told the news agency.

Khalila a-Haya, a senior Hamas official confirmed that indirect talks with Israel were ongoing and focused on ensuring the cease-fire brokered by Cairo following Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense in November, remains intact, the agency said.

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