Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Hamas' Ismail Haniya visits Egypt for Gaza siege talks

Hamas leader in Egypt capital for Gaza siege talks Hamas top leaders visit Egypt for national reconciliation
Howard Terry | 12 September, 2017, 00:34

Al-Sunwar and Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh will also hold talks with Egyptian officials on the mechanisms of allowing entry to Egypt through the Rafah crossing, in addition to bridging the gap between the two rival Palestinian movements, the group's spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum, said in a statement.

For the first time since Hamas's new leadership was elected four months ago, the terror group's leaders gathered on Sunday from around the Middle East to have their first face-to-face meeting.

The chief of Hamas's political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, traveled to Cairo on Saturday, in his first trip out of the Strip since his election. The talks, in July, led to Egypt's supply of thousands of litres of fuel to Gaza's unique power plant after Israel drastically reduced its energy supply following decision by President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas to reduce payment of Gaza electricity bills. He was joined by Hamas's leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

Hamas and the PA have been at loggerheads since 2007, when Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in a violent battle.

Hamas has been seeking to improve relations with neighbouring Egypt in a bid to convince Cairo to open the territory's border with Gaza - its main gateway to the outside world.

Nadav Argaman told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting that the Gaza-based terror group has "continued to invest considerable resources in preparation for a future conflict, even at the cost of its citizens' welfare" and that at this point Hamas is "ready for a conflict with Israel".

He noted that the aim of the latest visit was to develop the relationship with Cairo and to carry out what was agreed upon during the previous visits of Hamas leaders to Egypt.

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