Daily Israel Report

Hamas May Declare Gaza Independent Country

Hamas is banking on Egyptian support and may declare Gaza an independent state, a London-based Arab language paper reports.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 7/22/2012, 12:50 PM

Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh
Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Hamas is banking on Egyptian support to declare Gaza an independent state and “a liberated part of the ’67 territories,” the London-based Al Hayat Arab language paper reported Sunday.

Hamas has been tossing around the idea for two years, but Egypt has rejected the move.

The new Muslim Brotherhood government has given the Hamas terrorist party new hope, and a  senior Hamas official told Al Hayat that the subject will be discussed in meetings with newly elected Egyptian president Mohammed Mursi this Thursday.

“Relations with Egypt are based on common needs,“ the source said, explaining that Hamas wants to cut off its crossings with Israel and develop a trade route with Egypt through Rafiah. Hamas is telling Egypt it can provide security to secure its northern Sinai border.

Rafiah is Gaza’s most southern city and straddles both sides of the Egyptian-Gazan border and also is a major point of smuggling of arms, drugs and women.

Announcing Gaza as an independent entity could hamper relations between Egypt and the United States, which has labeled Hamas as an illegal terrorist organization.

It also would be a  major blow  to the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority, which has refused to negotiate without pre-conditions with Israel to obtain recognition.

Instead of promoting a “two-state” solution, it would create a de facto situation of two countries – Israel and Gaza – and an increasing fractured Palestinian Authority entity.

The British-based Gadstone Institute recently observed, “Everyone who is anyone has declared for a two-state solution: Israel and Palestine.  …And almost everyone argues that the only alternative would be a one-state solution.

“Hardly anybody wants to know that three states have emerged, de facto, in the area: Israel, West Bank and Gaza.”