Egyptian presidential candidate Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi knows that if he wants to restore Egypt’s responsibility on the Palestinian issue, he must not ignore Hamas and the Israeli-Egyptian siege on Gaza, Israeli analyst Zvi Bar’el has said.
Bar’el, the Middle Eastern affairs analyst for Israeli Newspaper Ha’aretz, expected that Egypt was waiting for the formation of the Palestinian unity government before the Rafah crossing to Gaza is permanently opened.
According to Bar’el, Egypt will recognise Hamas as the recent agreements between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) stipulate that the Rafah Crossing should be opened.
The Israeli writer cited Al-Sisi’s remarks to Sky News, when he called upon Hamas to review its relations with Egypt before losing the support of Egyptians.
“Al-Sisi gave Hamas a political escape, probably, to accelerate the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, which is backed by Egypt,” Bar’el said.
Bar’el cited several other situations that supported his view. He quoted the head of the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, Ahmed abu-Ras references to the Egyptian plans to open the Rafah Crossing for construction materials.
Bar’el noted that Hamas had received severe blows during the last two years.
“In addition to the destruction of most tunnels between Gaza and Sinai that caused great damage to Hamas’ economic resources, Egypt accused Hamas of cooperating with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and other terrorist organisations active in Sinai,” he said.
Egyptians claim that Hamas helped ousted President Mohammed Morsi and other MB members to escape from the prison in wake of the January 25 revolution. However, Bar’el said, it is clear for Al-Sisi that it is impossible for Gaza to remain besieged by both Israel and Egypt.
“If he decided to restore Egypt’s responsibility over the Palestinian issue, he cannot ignore Gaza,” Bar’el said. He also noted that Hamas welcomed Al-Sisi’s remarks.