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Egyptian soldiers watch Palestinian Hamas security forces deployed on the Palestinian side of the border with Egypt, Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, April 21, 2016 (AP Photo by Khalil Hamra).

If Hamas and Egypt Reconcile, Will It Be on Egypt’s Terms?

Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017

Last week, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’ top official in the Gaza Strip, visited Egypt for the first time since 2013, when Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-aligned former president, was ousted in a coup. Haniyeh met with security officials in Cairo, including the head of national intelligence, Khaled Fawzy, to discuss the ongoing blockade of Gaza and other economic issues in the Hamas-controlled territory, as well as Hamas’ ties with its Palestinian rival, Fatah. Both Haniyeh and Egyptian state media called his visit “successful.”

After leaving Cairo, Haniyeh returned to Gaza after five months abroad in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Back in Palestinian territory, he told journalists that ties with Egypt, which have been severely strained under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, were improving. Hamas, he said, “will continue to develop this relationship and strengthen it.” ...

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