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Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Egypt to Hamas: destroy remaining tunnels into Sinai

Cairo Tries to Bridge Gap between PA, Hamas
Kifah Ziboun Asharq Al Awsat 12 September 2017
https://english.aawsat.com/kifah-ziboun/news-middle-east/cairo-tries-bridge-gap-pa-hamas

Ramallah- The meetings of Hamas delegation with the Egyptian intelligence
officials focused on two issues: reconciliation within the framework of the
status of the Palestinian case and security cooperation, Palestinian
informed sources said.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the meetings were positive to a large
extent, but the intelligence officials have asked Hamas for additional
measures in terms of agreement with Fatah and other measures on the borders,
including the demolition of the rest of the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt
in order to block the infiltration of militant groups from and to Sinai.

This request was discussed thoroughly when Hamas presented its actions in
Gaza to ensure the security of Egypt, sources said. The meetings also
tackled the situation in Gaza Strip and means to ease the pressure on its
people.

Hamas has demanded that the Rafah border crossing be opened as regularly as
possible, fuel and electricity be supplied to Gaza Strip and trade exchanges
be carried out. It also demanded Egypt to put pressure on Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas to halt his measures against Gaza Strip.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh along with Hamas’s leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar
traveled to Cairo on Saturday, where they were joined by a number of members
of the group, who traveled to Egypt from across the Middle East, including
Lebanon, Turkey and Qatar.

Following a meeting between the Hamas political leadership, Haniyeh met with
Egyptian Intelligence Minister Khaled Fawzi.

The sources stressed that Egyptian officials and Hamas officials discussed
how to overcome internal differences and go to reconciliation.

Hamas said it was ready to dismantle its Administrative Committee, which was
formed by the group in March in order to widen its governance in the Strip,
if Abbas cancels his measures.

The Hamas delegation also pledged to Egyptian intelligence officials that
Hamas would continue to support the safety and security of Egypt, “and would
never allow that the Gaza Strip be used to harm Egypt’s security by any
means,” according to the statement.

Hamas has sought to improve relations with Cairo in recent months by
increasing cross border security, including the construction of the military
buffer zone, in hopes that Egypt will ease its enforcement of Israel’s
brutal, decade-long siege of the territory and open up the Rafah border
crossing.

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