'Islamist success in Egypt puts Israel in peril'

Hamas's Haniyeh tells 'Independent' that Egypt will no longer support blockade, IDF military operations in Gaza.

January 7, 2012 19:25
1 minute read.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza.

ismail haniyeh_311 reuters. (photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

The success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian parliamentary elections and the Islamist party's pending inclusion in the government is a victory for the Palestinians and puts Israel's security situation in peril, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said in an interview with The Independent published on Saturday.

While US State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said Thursday that the Muslim Brotherhood had given Washington assurances that it would honor Egypt's peace treaty with Israel, Haniyeh said that Cairo would no longer close its border with Gaza to help Israel blockade the territory, nor would it support any Israeli military operations in the Strip.

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"The Palestinian cause is winning," Haniyeh was quoted as saying by the Independent. "With the Muslim Brotherhood part of the government [in Egypt], they [the Egyptians] will not besiege Gaza. They will not arrest Palestinians. They will not give cover to Israel to launch a war."

The Hamas leader stated that he envisions his cause benefiting from the changes occurring in the region, and Israel suffering from the developments.

"Gaza was a main reason for the Arab Spring. It was people's anger at the regimes that co-operated with Israel and did not recognize the government here," Haniyeh said.

"Israel is disturbed by this. It knows the strategic environment is changing. Iran is an enemy. Relations are deteriorating with Turkey. With Egypt, they are really cold. Israel is in a security situation they have never been in before. The Palestinians are winning more than anybody else due to what's happening in the Arab countries. That will come out clearly in the future," he added.

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