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Daily Israel Report

Hamas Gaza Chief Headed to Cairo

Ismail Haniyeh wants Egypt's new president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood to fully open the Rafiah crossing into Sinai.
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 7/5/2012, 5:16 PM

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh
Flash 90

A Hamas official on Thursday announced Ismail Haniyeh, who heads the terror organization's administration in Gaza, is headed for Cairo to meet with Egypt’s new Islamist president.

Mohammed Askoul said Haniyeh will meet President Mohammed Morsi and senior Egyptian security officials "within the next two weeks."

Hamas is an offshoot of Morsi’s region-wide Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Hamas hopes the Brotherhood will allow a greater number of Gaza residents to pass through the Rafiah junction into Sinai.

However, observers say more than a token increase in traffic – presently at some 1,000 persons per day – is highly unlikely.

Morsi’s powers are limited, his relations with Egypt’s powerful military are tentative, and Egypt has more pressing issues to address.

Hamas seized Gaza from the Palestinian Authority under its rival faction, Fatah, in a bloody 2007 putsch. The move prompted both Egypt and Israel to close their crossings to and from Gaza.

At present, Israel allows aid shipments to pass into Gaza, and goods for sale to pass out of Gaza.