Egypt to oversee Palestinian talks
Gaza -A senior Egyptian intelligence official will oversee talks between the rival Hamas and Fatah on reshaping their security forces, a Palestinian official said Friday.
The unity agreement signed this week called for a security oversight committee to work out the details of the thorny issue of reforming the partisan security forces who have battled each other in the past.
"We were informed today by Egyptian officials of the formation of a panel of experts including General Ibrahim Mohammed, the deputy chief of Egyptian intelligence," said Yasser al-Wadiah, an independent politician from Gaza.
Wadiah returned Thursday night from Cairo where he had attended the signing of the surprise reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah.
The accord called for the two to work together to form an interim government of technocrats unaffiliated with either party, who would govern until presidential and legislative elections to be held within a year.
Members of this oversight committee would visit Gaza soon "for intensive meetings with all parties to begin implementing the terms of the agreement", he added.
The issue of integrating the rival security apparatuses is considered particularly problematic, with Fatah and Hamas forces having clashed in the past.
The American-trained Palestinian Authority forces in the West Bank frequently cooperate with Israel, while Hamas forces often clash with the Israelis in Gaza.
Wadiah also said talks would begin next week on picking the prime minister of the interim government.