Jimmy Carter to visit Gaza to end Palestinian split: Hamas

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GAZA, April 26 (Xinhua) — Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter will pay a visit to the Gaza Strip on Thursday in a bid to end an internal Palestinian division, a senior Hamas official said Sunday.

Leading a delegation representing the International Committee of Wise Men, Carter will have talks with Hamas leaders in Gaza, including Ismail Haneya, the Islamist movement’s deputy chief, Ahmed Yousef told Xinhua.

The talks will tackle a number of issues including the ties with Israel to reinforce a cease-fire and a new prisoner swap deal, Yousef added.

In August, a fragile truce put an end to a 50-day war in Gaza between Israel and the Hamas militants. About 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed during the fighting. On the Israeli side, it claimed the lives of 73 people, all but six were soldiers.

Carter visited Gaza in 2010, right after a three-week large-scale Israeli military operation waged on the coastal enclave.

On Sunday, officials from the committee that Carter chairs arrived in the Gaza Strip to prepare for Thursday’s visit.

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