The upheaval in the Palestinian Territories will top the agenda in new talks between President Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. The pair will meet Egypt on Sunday. Abbas’ spokesman said the talks should focus on an eventual Palestinian state: “The success of this summit will depend on the decision of the Israeli side to proceed with the political negotiations, in order to reach an agreement on all issues related to the final status, so that we will be able to establish a Palestinian independent state,” he said.
But there appears little sign of dialogue between Abbas’ Fatah faction and Hamas since the Islamist group took control of Gaza. Hamas says Abbas should not go the weekend talks, which will also be attended by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and King Abdullah of Jordan. Israeli forces remain on alert at the border with Gaza and have made a number of limited incursions into the Strip. The evacuation of refugees from Gaza continues, with a group of foreign-based Palestinians among the latest to be allowed entry to Israel. But others await their turn amid uncertainty.