A senior Hamas leader based in Egypt is in Gaza for talks aimed at reaching a reconciliation agreement between the two rival Palestinian groups, Hamas and Fatah, the Associated Press news agency reports.

Moussa Abu Marzuk is meeting Hamas leaders in Gaza on Monday in advance of a visit by Fatah officials on Tuesday.

Hamas freed 10 Fatah prisoners before the meetings as a goodwill gesture.

Palestinians have been divided since 2007 when Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip from forces loyal to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, of Fatah.

Since then, Hamas has ruled Gaza while Abbas governs some areas in the West Bank.

Past reconciliation attempts have failed.

It was unusual for Cairo to allow the visit since Egypt is cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood group, of which Hamas is an offshoot.

Source: AP