Hamas denies Egypt pressuring Hamas to stop rocket fire into Israel

Hamas informed Egypt that there are parties trying to thwart the ceasefire agreement.

August 27, 2019 20:59
2 minute read.
Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh attends a meeting with members of international media in Gazaa

Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh attends a meeting with members of international media at his office in Gaza City, June 20, 2019. (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)

During meetings in Cairo with representatives of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Egypt warned that it will stop sponsoring any ceasefire agreement between the terror groups and Israel if Hamas does not stop rocket fire against Israel, according to Al Arabiya. The country also stated that they are working on a long-term agreement between Israel and Gaza.

Egypt simultaneously warned the Gazan terror group against taking part in a proxy war supporting Hezbollah and Iran against Israel. The country is likewise working to arrive at a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas which would allow the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip.
Hamas informed Egypt that there are parties trying to thwart the ceasefire agreement, according to Al Hadath.

During the meeting, Egypt also promised that they would sponsor new measures to ease pressure on Gaza soon and called on Israel to abide by the current agreements, demanding that Hamas sign a written declaration that they will likewise abide by current agreements.

Suhail al-Hindi, a member of Hamas's political branch, denied that Egypt had warned Hamas about joining a proxy war with Hezbollah and Iran or would stop sponsoring any ceasefire agreement with Israel if the rocket fire against Israel was not stopped, according to the Palestinian Sawa news agency.

"The reports about Egypt conveying threatening messages to Hamas are untrue," said al-Hindi. Egypt, as a sister country, wouldn't "threaten Hamas or convey threatening messages from the occupation," according to the Hamas official.

The delegation's visit to Cairo comes within the framework of bilateral relations between Egypt and the Palestinians in Gaza, said al-Hindi, stressing the value of cooperation and relations between the two peoples.

The Hamas official also stated that the delegation's visit was meant to address the lifting of the siege on the Gaza Strip and the sufferring of the Palestinian people and "does not bear any other meaning." The meetings were also meant to address "Israeli attacks on [the Palestinian] people and their holy sites," according to Sawa.

In July, an Egyptian delegation arrived in Gaza to forestall escalations in violence. They were briefed by Hamas leaders about what they said was Israel’s slow-paced implementation of the ceasefire understandings reached earlier this year under the auspices of Egypt and the UN.

Hamas said its leaders presented the Egyptian officials with a “detailed briefing about the Israeli enemy’s violations against the Gaza Strip and its foot-dragging regarding the implementation of the [ceasefire] understandings.”

The statement said the Hamas leaders stressed during the talks with the Egyptians that Israel understands the Gaza-based groups won’t accept anything less than lifting the blockade on the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.

Hani al-Thawabta, a senior official with the PLO’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, said on Saturday that the Egyptian intelligence officials told the Hamas leaders that Israel was offering a series of measures to ease restrictions on the Gaza Strip.

The measures, he told the Palestinian daily Al-Quds, include the delivery of medicine and medical aid to the Gaza Strip, as well as returning more fishermen boats seized by the IDF in recent years.

In addition, Thawabta said, Israel was offering to increase the number of permits for merchants and laborers to enter Israel to 5,000 from 3,500.

On Sunday, the Qatari envoy distributed cash grants to poor families in the Gaza Strip.

Anna Ahronheim, Khaled Abu Toameh and Ezra Taylor contributed to this report.

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