Monday, July 23, 2012

Hamas: Egypt delegation to visit Gaza, West Bank to discuss reconciliation

 Egypt Independent
Egypt intends to send two delegations to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to discuss Palestinian reconciliation, Hamas political bureau member Mahmoud al-Zahar said Sunday.
Zahar told Palestinian news agency Maan News that the move comes in response to a suggestion made by Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal during his recent meeting with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy.
Zahar said he considers the Gaza Strip independent from Israeli occupation on the military and security level, but denied declaring the enclave as independent from the Palestinian territories that had been occupied in 1967 or severing commercial ties with Israel. He argued that such reports are circulated by Hamas’ enemies to maintain the blockade on Gaza, adding that the issue had not been discussed with the Egyptian leadership.
Zahar said last week’s visit to Egypt had been positive, adding that Hamas agreed with Egyptian officials in principle about lifting the blockade on Gaza, without discussing specific methods for implementing such a measure.
Zahar stressed that the Rafah land crossing between Egypt and Gaza should be opened to facilitate Palestinian movement. He expected the blockade on Gaza, imposed by Israel since the faction took over the strip in 2007, to end this year.
He said Gaza would be supported by the Egyptian gas pipeline and would have its electricity network linked to Egypt’s.