Egypt Presses Palestinians to Reconcile

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- A team of Egyptian officials is in the Gaza Strip to renew efforts to push for reconciliation between the rival Fatah and Gaza factions.

Two Egyptian intelligence officials and a diplomat arrived in Gaza on Sunday, along with several government ministers from the Fatah-led Palestinian Cabinet in the West Bank.

Hamas seized control of Gaza from Fatah forces in 2007.

In November, the Islamic militant Hamas handed over control of Gaza's border crossings to the Palestinian Authority. It was the first tangible concession in years of Egyptian-brokered reconciliation talks. But negotiations have bogged down since then.

A delegation of Hamas leaders has been in Egypt since Feb. 9 in what is believed to be a stepped up Egyptian pressure campaign on the group.

(KA)