Hamas expects Egypt to change Gaza policy

08:53, March 30, 2011      

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A prominent leader of the Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement said here on Tuesday that he expected Egypt will have a positive policy change regarding the Rafah crossing and the siege on the Gaza Strip.

After a meeting on Tuesday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil el-Arabi in Cairo, Hamas political leader Mahmoud al-Zahar said an Egyptian viewpoint will be crystalized within the coming few days regarding the Rafah crossing and achieving the Palestinian reconciliation.

A Hamas delegation led by al-Zahar is visiting Egypt for the first time since former President Hosni Mubarak resigned on Feb. 11.

Al-Zahar told reporters that Hamas and Egypt had reached an agreement on all points related to negotiating with Fatah movement to end inter-Palestinian friction and achieve reconciliation.

"They back us on the reconciliation issue. We agreed on all points, even the practical steps that Hamas and Fatah are going to take in order to reach reconciliation," al-Zahar said.

Al-Zahar termed his visit to Egypt as fruitful, saying they also discussed the issues on opening border crossings and providing humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.

"We are going to witness an Egyptian vision on handling the Rafah border crossing and the Palestinian case over the next week or the upcoming days," al-Zahar said.

Egypt's efforts of brokering inter-Palestinian reconciliation talks in the past two years failed to finalize an agreement between the rival Fatah and Hamas group, partly due to tensions between Mubarak's government and Hamas, who is ruling the Gaza Strip.

The Rafah border crossing with Gaza remains largely closed-off to both goods and people since Egypt shut down the crossing in 2007 after Hamas took over the coastal enclave by routing security forces loyal to Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, but it opens the crossing two days a week for humanitarian cases.

Source: Xinhua
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