Hamas' Ismail Haniya Visits Egypt For Gaza Siege Talks

Hamas' Ismail Haniya Visits Egypt For Gaza Siege Talks”

English edition of Asharq Al-Awsat - the world's premier pan-Arab daily.

Hamas head Ismail Haniya is in Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials on the country's blockade on Gaza, which has caused huge misery on Palestinians there. Other topics of interest to the parties were also addressed. The United States, Israel and the European Union all view Hamas as a terrorist organization, while the Palestinian Authority, headed by Hamas foe Fatah, is undertaking measures to encourage Gazans to overthrown Hamas rule and revert to Fatah/PA control.

Haniyeh is accompanied by the head of the movement in the Gaza Strip Yahya al-Sinawar and member of the Political Bureau Khalil al-Hayya.

Following the talks in Cairo, the Hamas delegation "may conduct a tour of some Arab and Muslim countries", Anadolu Agency reported, citing a "well-informed Hamas source". Six of these are controlled by Israel, while the seventh - the Rafah crossing - is controlled by Egypt, which has kept it tightly sealed for the most part since the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected leader, in a 2013 military coup. The delegation also includes one of the prominent leaders of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in an indication that the meetings will discuss issues of a security nature as well as political understandings.

In a statement issued earlier Saturday, Hamas said talks with Egyptian officials would tackle a range of issues, including means of enhancing Egypt-Hamas relations and easing a 10-year-old blockade of the Gaza Strip imposed by Egypt and Israel.

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