Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has revealed that during their meeting in Ramallah on Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry told him to “Please, send my greetings to General Al-Sisi”, when Kerry learnt about the Palestinian president’s planned visit to Cairo.
During another meeting with Egyptian journalists and editors-in-chief on Sunday, Abbas said that he told Al-Sisi what Egyptians and Arabs think of the Egyptian Minister of Defence: That Al-Sisi is “a leader” who “did what no one else could have done”.
Abbas also told the Egyptian journalists that his first impression about Al-Sisi was that “he is a great leader” and that he is “doing his job properly”.
Abu Mazen joked with the journalists during the meeting, which was held in the hospitality palace in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis, saying that he had become addicted to Egyptian media, sometimes following it avidly from 9 in the morning until 2 am. He watches Egyptian TV channels extensively and knows all the presenters by name because they are always guests at his home by virtue of their jobs as media professionals.
A high ranking member of the Palestinian delegation accompanying Abu Mazen described what happened in Egypt on 30 June as “a divine miracle, like the descending of a revelation from Heaven.”
“The Egyptian people have ended a phenomenon that has existed throughout the entire world, not only in Egypt,” he added.
A source revealed that Abu Mazen had warned the ousted President Mohammed Morsi that Israel was trying to end the Palestinian cause and to impose Gaza on Egypt through making the Palestinians in Gaza settle in the Sinai. “How many are those of Gaza?” Morsi allegedly asked Abu Mazen. “One million and half,” Abu Mazen is reported to have answered. To which Morsi suggested that “We could take them in Shubra,” according to the source.
The source added that, “It is becoming more evident day after day that it is Israel and the US that have arranged the rise of Hamas to power in the Gaza Strip,” elaborating that at the time Abu Mazen had been considering postponing the elections for a while because he knew Fatah had little chance of winning, but he was faced with great US pressure and threats. Abbas was even surprised to see Israel allow East Jerusalem’s Palestinians to vote, according to the source.
Abbas told the Egyptian journalists that he pointed out to Al-Sisi that by defending Egypt he is also defending Palestine. “People never realized how dangerous Hamas was until the Muslim Brotherhood fell in Egypt,” Abbas added recalling his conversation with Al-Sisi. He alleged that the profits made out of the trade generated from the tunnels were so high that they resulted in the presence of 1,800 millionaires in Gaza; those millionaires, according to Abbas, smuggled everything through the tunnels – cigarettes, rockets, opium, and machines used for forging money.