Relations between Egypt and the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, are improving, a new media report by Israel's News One has claimed. Egypt, it is pointed out, has recently facilitated the movement of Palestinians by opening the Rafah Border Crossing for the first time in a very long while.
The transport of goods has also been allowed, including cement and steel, which Israel bans in Gaza without UN supervision of the imported materials. In return, says the report, Hamas will prevent the smuggling of money and weapons to Daesh militants alleged to be operating in the Sinai Peninsula.
Meanwhile, relations between Egypt and the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas have been deteriorating on the back of Cairo's support for the PA president's rival, former Fatah official Mohammed Dahlan. The initial withdrawal of the draft UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements made the situation worse, the report adds.
The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, visited Cairo recently to meet with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in order to coordinate their positions in the wake of UN Security Council resolution 2334, which was eventually passed on 23 December. There is some uncertainty, though, whether the visit will result in improved relations between Egypt and the PA, not least because the government of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi insists on supporting Dahlan as a possible successor to Abbas.