Haniyeh
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (3rd L) flashes a victory sign as he appears for the first time since the start of a seven-week conflict during a rally by Palestinians celebrating what they said was a victory over Israel, in Gaza City.Reuters

A senior Hamas official has confirmed that indirect ceasefire talks with Israel are to be restarted in Cairo this month.

Moussa Abu Marzouk said that negotiations over a potential prisoner deal were not going to be on the agenda at present.

"The time will come for that discussion," he said, according to Israel Radio.

A Gaza-based official told the Times of Israel that negotiations over the return of the remains of two slain IDF soldiers - Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul - in return for Palestinian prisoners, would be conducted separately to talks over the reconstruction of the enclave.

According to Mohammed Nazzal, another senior Hamas figure, these negotiations over the return of the remains would also begin at the end of the month.

A Hamas member of parliament, Mohammed Attoun, said that a prisoner release deal was being prepared for completion soon, according to Maan News Agency.

"We hereby confirm there will be good omens very soon and the occupation will yield, whether they like it or not, just as they did before," Attoun said.

"I can confirm that there will be a deal soon to free our prisoners."

This week, Israel opened its border to Gaza for the first time in months, to allow rebuilding supplies into the Palestinian territory in the wake of the summer conflict.

On a rare visit to Gaza, the UN's Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the destruction he witnessed was "beyond description", adding that it was worse than the devastation he witnessed after the 2008-2009 war.

In the seven-week Gaza conflict, over 2,100 Palestinians - mostly civilians - lost their lives. All but five of the 68 Israeli fatalities were soldiers.