The Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza travelled to Cairo on Saturday for discussions on several key Palestinian issues, including the latest call by the Emir of Qatar for a special meeting of the Arab League to look at reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.
The visit of the Palestinian Prime Minister is the first time this year that a senior official from Gaza has gone to Egypt. A delegation of senior Hamas officials headed by political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal arrived in Cairo to take part in the same talks.
Whilst in the Egyptian capital, Ismail Haniyeh will also discuss the country’s media defamation campaign against Gaza. Hamas has been accused by certain sections of the Egyptian media of being responsible for the attack which killed 16 Egyptian soldiers on the border with Israel near Rafah last year.
Although the government in Cairo did not give too many details about the proposed meetings, the arrival of the Hamas leadership from Palestine and abroad suggests that some important decisions may be made. Only last week, a senior Hamas member in Gaza, Mahmoud Al-Zahar, said that nominations for the new leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement will be announced soon. An informed source told MEMO that this will be done in Cairo and that the leader “has to be from among the exiles so that he can mover around freely”. Anyone chosen from occupied Palestine “would have to leave the country immediately”.