Hamas in overtures to Egypt


Hamas appears to be trying to rebuild its ties with Egypt. Following meetings between senior leaders of the Gaza terror group and Egyptian officials last week, Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk said they had "opened a new page and dialogue among friends". The Egyptian media reported, however, that the meetings had failed.

In any event, Hamas men began removing signs and pictures in Gaza praising the Muslim Brotherhood - now outlawed in Egypt.

In one place, they were replaced by the slogan "Hamas does not fight outside Palestine", an attempt to show that it is not co-operating with terrorists within Egypt.

Egypt controls what is currently the main exit for civilians from the Gaza Strip at Rafah and, in recent months, has destroyed most of the smuggling tunnels under the border. The government of President Abdel Fattah a-Sisi has hardened its stance against Hamas and co-ordinates its military operations around Gaza with Israel.

There is disagreement between Hamas' political wing, which favours mending ties with Egypt and the Sunni Gulf states, and the military wing, which prefers a return to Iranian patronage.

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