By Nour Abu Aysha and Lubaba Zoukan
Delegations of 13 Palestinian factions left the Palestinian territories for Egypt on Monday for talks aimed at healing inter-Palestinian rift.
Representatives of 12 factions, including Hamas, travelled from the Gaza Strip to Egypt to attend the talks, due to open in Cairo on Tuesday, according to a security source in Gaza, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was unauthorized to speak to media.
A delegation of President Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah group left Israel-occupied West Bank to attend the talks.
Last month, Hamas and Fatah -- Palestine’s two main political factions -- signed a landmark reconciliation agreement in Cairo aimed at ending a decade-long division.
As part of the deal, Palestinian factions agreed to meet in Cairo on November 21 for talks aimed at resolving outstanding issues.
According to the security source, Hamas delegation included group leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, his deputy Khalil Yahya and political bureau member Salah al-Bardaweel.
Fatah delegation, meanwhile, is chaired by group member Azzam al-Ahmad.
The talks are ostensibly aimed at establishing a national unity government and easing pressure on the Gaza Strip, which since 2007 has remained the target of a crippling Israeli/Egyptian blockade.