TEL AVIV — Marwan Issa, the leader of Hamas’ so-called military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, is currently in Cairo for talks with Egyptian intelligence accompanied by Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’ political leader in Gaza, a Hamas official told Breitbart Jerusalem.
According to the official, the two main issues being dealt with by Issa during his meetings in Cairo are a prisoner-exchange deal with Israel and Hamas’ arms in Gaza, which is one of the biggest barriers to reconciliation between Hamas on one side and Fatah and the Palestinian Authority on the other.
Hamas currently holds the bodies of two Israeli soldiers as well as two living Israeli citizens who crossed the border into Gaza and suffer from mental illness.
The Hamas delegation crossed into Egypt through a secure border crossing, not the one in Rafah, the official said. The Egyptians are testing blueprints with Issa to allow for the prisoner exchange, but the organization has so far refused to give any indication of the condition of the two soldiers’ bodies.
The source didn’t know the details of the new blueprint Egypt has come up with to move forward and reach a breakthrough on the prisoners issue, but the Egyptians initially tied the issue to that of Palestinian reconciliation, claiming that if the Palestinian Authority is expected to return to control in the Gaza Strip, a situation cannot be allowed in which one of the organizations in Gaza continues to hold Israeli civilians and the bodies of Israeli soldiers.
In regard to Hamas’ weapons, the Egyptians have been demanding that Hamas submit to oversight of its military stockpile, only to be used in accordance with a national political decision by the Palestinian leadership and not by Hamas.
According to the source, the Egyptians stated that strengthening the Palestinian Authority on this issue would strengthen their position with the Americans ahead of a Middle East peace deal being formulated in Washington.