Monday, March 13, 2017

Sisi seeks warmer ties with Hamas

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has ordered his government to open up to Hamas, sources in Gaza told i24news on Sunday.

According to the source, Sisi has ordered a Free Trade Zone to be built on the Gaza-Egypt border. Another project ordered by Sisi is the construction of a field hospital in Gaza to be run and managed by Egyptian doctors, as a step to decrease the number of Gaza residents who seek medical attention in Egypt, Israel and abroad.

The moves come after a number of meetings between Hamas delegations and high-level Egyptian intelligence officials over the last few months.

Hamas enjoyed good relations with former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a member of Hamas’s parent group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, relations have been tense under Sisi, who has cracked down on the underground tunnels between the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza, which terrorists use to smuggle terrorists and weapons from Egypt into the coastal enclave.

In an attempt to improve strained ties, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh recently met in Cairo with Egyptian officials to discuss ways to improve the strained relations. READ MORE