Hamas, the main Palestinian resistance group, will discuss supporting resistance and uniting various factions, said Musa Abu Marzuq, who is heading the group's delegation, on Thursday.

Abu Marzuq said Palestinian unity was the only way to resist Israel's occupation.

Representatives of at least 12 Palestinian factions, including Hamas, began a dialogue in Cairo under Egyptian auspices, aimed at convincing them to declare a truce.  

A ceasefire that Egypt brokered in June was never recognised by Israel and collapsed in August after an Israeli attack killed a top Hamas leader.

Hamas earlier said that discussions in the Egyptian capital would not include a truce. But Israeli and Palestinian officials said it was the fourth item on the agenda handed by Egypt to the factions.

Demands

All Palestinian factions said a ceasefire required a clear Israeli commitment to stop building its apartheid wall in the occupied West Bank, to halt Jewish settlement expansion, and a troop withdrawal from Palestinian cities reoccupied after an uprising began in 2000.  

Palestinian uprising against Israeli
occupation started in 2000

Israel said it was ready to curb its invasions in the occupied territories if Palestinian factions agreed to suspend resistance attacks, said Deputy Defence Minister Zeev Boim on Thursday.

Palestinian President Yasir Arafat said Egypt’s efforts to push talks between Palestinian factions was welcomed by the quartet comprising the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and Russia.

The Palestinian leader told Aljazeera that Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other Arab countries also supported the talks.

“We need to reach an agreement, supported by Arab countries and the Quartet, to apply the road map and halt the daily Israeli military escalation against the Palestinians, our holy sites and the Palestinian infrastructure," he said.