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The first round of talks with the radical Islamist movement Hamas
The first round of talks with the radical Islamist movement Hamas on the situation in the Gaza Strip has brought positive results, an unidentified Egyptian official was quoted as saying on Monday.

A Hamas delegation, led by Imad Alami, a member of Hamas's political bureau, held a meeting with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman on Egypt's plans for a ceasefire in the Palestinian territory, which has been devastated by an ongoing Israeli offensive.

"Opinions were united during the meeting on the importance of stopping the shedding of Palestinian blood as soon as possible," the MENA news agency quoted an Egyptian source as saying.

According to the agency, Suleiman has explained in detail the Egyptian initiative to end the bloodshed in Gaza, which includes a temporary ceasefire, meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials and the resumption of Palestinian reconciliation talks.

The plan also allows for the resumption of a stable flow of humanitarian aid to the violence-torn and impoverished Palestinian enclave.

The Israeli offensive in Gaza that started on December 27 has so far killed at least 890 Palestinians, including 257 children and 68 women, while another 4,000 people have been wounded, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Israel's casualties are estimated at 13 people, including 10 military personnel.

The second round of talks between Egyptian and Hamas officials is scheduled for Monday.


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