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Hamas Delegation Visits Egypt | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Yahya Sinwar, Leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip (AFP/Said Khatib)

Ramallah– A delegation of senior Hamas officials left to Egypt on Sunday as Hamas continues its contacts with the Egyptian government regarding bilateral relations, as well as the electricity crisis in Gaza.

The delegation is headed by Rohi Mushtaha, a member of the Hamas political bureau and close to Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, and includes 12 members representing Hamas ministries in Gaza, including the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Finance, the Public Works Ministry, the Economy Ministry and the Energy Authority.

Secretary-General of the Government Administrative Committee in Gaza, Osama Saad, said that the delegation went to Egypt to discuss the implementation of the recent understandings with Egyptian officials.

Saad also said that Hamas will discuss issues related to border security, the Rafah crossing, the electricity crisis, fuel and other matters.

Sources informed Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the Hamas delegation headed to Egypt to discuss mechanism of establishing the agreements between the two borders, primarily border security, the buffer zone, Rafah crossing, the electricity crisis, fuel and other matters. In addition, parties will discuss the agreements reached between Hamas and dismissed Fatah commander Mohammed Dahlan.

Palestinian authority isn’t informed about the talks or the talks between Hamas and Dahlan, according to sources.

The authority isn’t against any help granted to Gaza, but it is not satisfied with the way Egypt had dealt with Hamas without any coordination with the authority.

Officials believe that it was better if talks focused on maintaining unity and ending the division.

Yihya al-Sinwar, Hamas’s leader in Gaza, visited Cairo last month in an attempt to reach an agreement with the Egyptian government on easing the restrictions it imposes on Gaza. The talks focused on relations with Egypt, the difficult living conditions in Gaza and Palestinian political issues.

During its visit, the delegation held meetings with Dahlan and the two parties reached arrangements to deal with the strip’s crisis, according to Hamas and Dahlan movement officials.

Last week, Egypt allowed the crossing of vehicles loaded with fuel to the Gaza strip for operating the electricity station and resolving power cut crisis.

Earlier, authority refused any Arab attempts to bring Dahlan back which strained the relations further more.

Hamas is asking Egypt for materials to complete the buffer zone including barbed wire, cameras, lighting, and heavy equipment to demolish the tunnels.

The first phase would include paving the 12-kilometer borderline and setting up surveillance cameras, control towers and a light system. The buffer zone would be of a 100-meter depth and would be a closed military zone.

Hamas reassured that these measures are to contribute in border security saying: “Egypt’s national security is Palestine’s national security.”

“We would not tolerate any threat to the stable security situation on the southern border,” the Hamas official added.

Relations between Hamas and Egypt witnessed a positive shift in the last few months especially after the movement dissociated itself from Muslim Brotherhood.