Hamas Leader Visits Cairo for Talks With Egyptian Security Officials

Hamas Leader Visits Cairo for Talks With Egyptian Security Officials

Hamas Leader Visits Cairo for Talks With Egyptian Security Officials

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh.

A senior Hamas official said on Sunday that Ismail Haniyeh's visit to Cairo is part of the movement's policy to seek "good" and "balanced" relations with the Arab and Islamic world, Quds Press has reported.

He further said that the period since the summer of 2014, which saw a military conflict between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip, has been the most peaceful in some three decades.

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Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, a densely populated coastal territory that shares borders with Egypt and Israel, with which it has fought three wars since 2008. Although totally eschewed as an ally of the Egyptian nemesis Muslim Brotherhood when President Al-Sisi took office, in recent weeks Hamas efforts to deny that status have apparently succeeded.

Hamas has always been accused by the Egyptian government of aiding the brutal Islamic insurgency in Egypt's restive North Sinai region, but in recent months, Hamas has beefed up security along Gaza's southern border with Egypt, seeking to assure Cairo that it is fighting IS sympathizers.

Hamas wants direct Egyptian intervention to ease the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

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Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the talks with Egypt will focus on alleviating the blockade and mending a longstanding rift with rival group Fatah, headed by Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas, both from its headquarters in the Gaza Strip as well as from overseas, continues to try and carry out attacks in the West Bank and inside the Green Line, in order to undermine overall stability, he said.

Hamas, according to the report, wants reconciliation to be handled by the Egyptians, in order to improve relations with Cairo.

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