15 December 2003
Egyptian mediators are attempting to revive talks among Palestinian factions with hopes of securing a possible cease-fire with Israel. Several Palestinian factions are preparing to meet for the second time this month to discuss ending their attacks against Israel
According to a senior Arab League official, two days of negotiations will begin Tuesday involving several militant Palestinian groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Those two Palestinian factions, both on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations, have carried out the greatest number of attacks against Israel since the Palestinian intifada began more than three years ago.
Earlier this month at the invitation of the Egyptian government, 12 Palestinian factions met in Cairo, where it was hoped they would agree to halt attacks against Israel as part of an effort to secure a cease-fire with the Israeli government.
But the talks ended with Hamas rejecting a comprehensive cease-fire, saying it would not halt its attacks unless Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed to halt Israeli aggressions against Palestinians.
A senior Arab League official said the upcoming talks would be held in Gaza City and would be mediated by a team of high-ranking Egyptian military officials.