Abu Dhabi, Asharq Al-Awsat—Hamas should renounce its ties with the Muslim Brotherhood to encourage Egypt to be more proactive in negotiating a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas militants, an exiled Gaza strongman and former Fatah leader told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Mohamed Dahlan, a controversial Palestinian political figure now based in Dubai, attributed Cairo’s more hands-off approach to the ongoing Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, which entered its fourth day on Friday, to tensions between the Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi government and the Hamas Movement.
Israel’s Operation Protective Edge has seen more than 2,000 targets in the Gaza Strip being hit by airstrikes, with an Israeli Defense Force spokesman estimating one strike was taking place every 4.5 minutes.
“The real reason behind Cairo delaying taking steps is related to the fact that Hamas was in alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt,” Dahlan said.
Egypt’s interim authorities designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in December 2013, less than six months following the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.
“For the blockade on Gaza to be lifted, Hamas has to fix this mistake,” Dahlan added.
His comments come as Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said that it was facing difficulties in mediating a halt to the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip.
“Egypt has communicated with all sides to halt violence against civilians and called on them to continue with the truce agreement signed in November 2012,” Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
“Unfortunately, these efforts over the past 10 days have met with stubbornness, with only innocent civilians paying the price.”
Cairo played a key role in brokering the 2012 truce between Tel Aviv and Hamas, but has taken a more hand-off approach during the current conflict. Egypt temporarily opened its border crossing with Gaza this week to allow critical casualties of Israeli airstrikes access to Egyptian medical care but is expected to close this once again following the end of the conflict.