The talks would include Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and will aim to reach a long-term ceasefire in the region after Israeli bombardment of besieged Gaza killed more than 250 people.

Qassam brigade members attend a ceremony held for those who lost their lives from the military wing of Hamas in Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, Gaza on May 24, 2021.
Qassam brigade members attend a ceremony held for those who lost their lives from the military wing of Hamas in Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, Gaza on May 24, 2021. (AA)

Egypt has invited representatives of Israel and the Palestinian leadership to Cairo to discuss improving conditions in Gaza and strengthening the existing ceasefire.

According to a report on Wednesday by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, the talks would focus on reaching a long-term ceasefire agreement in the region, the reconstruction of Gaza and the return of captives.

The meeting would include Palestinian Authority that governs all Palestine territories but with a less prominent role in Gaza and Hamas that runs the besieged enclave. 

If Cairo convinces all parties to attend the talks, the meeting would be considered a major breakthrough in bringing Israel face-to-face with Hamas, the Palestinian group that runs Gaza which Israeli forces attacked on May 10 for 11 days before Egypt helped broker a ceasefire.  

No information was given on the date when the talks would begin, but according to the Yediot Aharonot newspaper, an Egyptian delegation recently held meetings in Israel, Ramallah and Gaza to discuss the proposal.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived on Wednesday in Cairo on the third stop of his Middle East tour to solidify a ceasefire deal between Gaza-based Palestinian factions and Israel.

The US diplomat met also Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday and in both meetings approached peace in the region without including Hamas. 

At the press conference, Abbas affirmed his government was "ready to establish a national unity government" after postponing polls this year in a move that drove more differences among the Palestinian leadership that is split between Hamas, Fatah and other political parties.

READ MORE: What's behind Palestinian frustration with Mahmoud Abbas?

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Reconstruction of the Gaza

Blinken met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi before he headed to Jordan, where half of the 10 million-strong population is of Palestinian origin.

The top US diplomat and Sisi agreed to strengthen coordination on the ceasefire and the reconstruction of Gaza, according to a statement by the Egyptian Presidency.

An Egypt-brokered ceasefire between Palestinian resistance groups and Israel took effect on May 21, putting an end to 11 days of the worst cycle of fighting in years.

At least 254 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children, and more than 1,900 others injured in Israeli air strikes on Gaza, according to Palestinian medics. At least 31 Palestinians were also killed in Israeli attacks in the occupied West Bank.

Thirteen Israelis were killed by Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel's Gaza assault started on May 10, following spiking tensions in occupied Jerusalem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Israeli police deployed heavy-handed tactics against Palestinian worshippers in and around Al Aqsa Mosque in the last week of the holy month.

A major flashpoint in recent days has been a court case that could end with Palestinian families evicted from occupied East Jerusalem homes in Sheikh Jarrah claimed by Jewish settlers.

Palestinians protesting in solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces after which Gaza launched rockets into Israel on May 10 to protest against the occupying state.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 – a move that has never been recognised by the international community.

READ MORE: Blinken in Mideast on mission to shore up Israel-Palestine ceasefire

Source: TRTWorld and agencies