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    06-Jul-2017

Hamas Says Egypt Ready to Help Gaza

 

AFP

 

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya said Wednesday recent talks in Egypt could lead to improving the humanitarian suffering in the impoverished Gaza Strip.
 
The head of the Palestinian Islamist movement said it found Egyptian officials "ready to work to address the crises in Gaza" during a recent trip in which Hamas leaders, led by its Gaza head Yahya Sinwar, met with Egyptian officials in Cairo.
 
"The Egyptian authorities issued a package of measures and policies and fuel began to enter to the power plant, and work continues at the Rafah crossing to reopen it in the near future."
 
"The result will have the effect of alleviating the burden of the siege against our people in the Gaza Strip," Haniya said.
 
He did not give further specific details. 
 
Gaza has been blockaded by Israel for a decade while Egypt, the only other country the Palestinian enclave shares a border with, has also largely sealed off its crossing in recent years.
 
Hamas has had strained relations with Egypt since the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood president, in 2013.
 
The current Egyptian government led by former military leader Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has closed hundreds of smuggling tunnels along the border and accused Hamas of supporting Islamist radicals inside Egypt, including near the frontier.
 
In recent months though, relations between Gaza and Cairo have somewhat thawed.
 
Last month, Egypt began delivering a million liters (264,200 gallons) of fuel to Gaza, temporarily easing a power crisis that had left the Palestinian enclave's two million residents with only a few hours of electricity per day.
 
Last week Hamas began building a security buffer zone along the Egyptian border to reduce smuggling.
 

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