A Gaza woman waits at Rafah for a travel permit to cross into Egypt, June 14..
(photo credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA / REUTERS)
Hamas' foreign relations chief Osama Hamdan has revealed that the relations between the Palestinian terror organization and Egypt are witnessing a considerable improvement.
In an interview with Turkish Anadolu news agency, Hamdan said that Hamas is holding conversations with Egyptian authorities in order to develop bilateral relations between the parties. Hamdan added that such a development may improve humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip.
Hamdan refused to give details about the rapprochement between Hamas and Egypt and did not answer questions about an expected visit by a Hamas delegation to Egypt. However, he stated: "We want our relations with Egypt to be strong."
In what appears to be an attempt to placate Egypt in light of Hamas’ renewed rapprochement with Iran, Hamdan said: "Egypt has an active role in the area and our relations with other states will never come at Egypt's expense."
Hamdan's remarks came shortly after the Hamas deputy political bureau chief, Ismail Haniyeh, stated that his organization has no military role in Sinai or in Egyptian Rafah, thereby contradicting recent reports about cooperation between Hamas and ISIS fighters in Sinai. Haniyeh added: "We have never allowed anyone to hurt Egypt's security in the past and we will never allow this in the future."
The failure to reach agreement regarding the administration of the Rafah border crossing during the recent reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah may have pushed the former back into Egypt's fold. Hamas' move can also be interpreted as an attempt to soften Egypt's stance about a future seaport in Gaza, in light of the discussions taking place between Turkey and Israel over the idea.