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      Egypt Paid Hamas Fuel for Ceasefire: Report

      Egypt offered fuel to Hamas in exchange for a ceasefire of missile attacks on Israel, a Hamas legislator said Monday.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 3/13/2012, 9:06 AM

      Gaza Arabs wait to fill containers with fuel at a gas station
      Gaza Arabs wait to fill containers with fuel at a gas station
      Reuters

      Egypt offered fuel to Hamas in exchange for a ceasefire of missile attacks on Israel, a Hamas legislator said Monday, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency.

      Younis al-Astal, affiliated with Hamas, said the deal was made to alleviate lengthy blackouts that have plagued Gaza residents since Egypt took steps to slash the amount of fuel being smuggled into Gaza through underground tunnels.

      The move by Egypt is another indication of the new regime’s desire for quiet in Gaza, which poses a threat to Egypt’s fragile stability just as much, if not more so, than it poses a threat to routine life in Israel.

      Terrorists from Gaza frequently cross into the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt to stage attacks on tourists and to prepare to infiltrate back into Israel with arms and explosives intended for use against civilians in urban centers.

      The oil-for-ceasefire deal also makes Hamas more dependent on the new Egyptian regime, which is vocally anti-Israel but has been careful not to cross “red lines” that would be inacceptable to the United States, on which Cairo is dependent for military and economic assistance.