Report: Hamas weighing protests on Egyptian border

Egypt demanding proof of 'good intentions' before Rafah Crossing can be reopened, reports say.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Riots on the Gaza border (illustrative)
Riots on the Gaza border (illustrative)
Reuters

The Hamas terror group, which serves as the de facto government in Gaza, is weighing the option of organizing protests along its border with Egypt.

According to a Wednesday morning report by Lebanon's Al Akhbar newspaper, the idea was floated as a way of protesting Egypt's decision to close the Rafah border crossing.

In addition to the protests, Hamas would remove its forces from the border area, making smuggling into and out of Egypt easier, Al Akhbar said.

At the same time, it was reported that Hamas and the other terror groups are examining new ways to respond to Egypt's stance on the negotiations with Israel, Israel Hayom reported. Sources said that the terror organizations are discussing options to increase the pressure on Israel along the entire length of the border, in an attempt to push Egypt into recanting its decision and reopening its border with Gaza.

Another option which was discussed was that of escalating the situation with Egypt, due to its signals that it will no longer act as mediator between Hamas and Israel. Recalling its troops from the border would allow the smuggling to recommence, and would mean that Hamas backtracked from its 2017 agreements with Egypt.

According to Al-Ayyam, the Gaza terror groups have promised Egypt that the scheduled protest on the Gaza-Israel border will not be violent and will not involve clashes with the IDF.

Egyptian sources on Tuesday night told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh would like to pacify Egypt by holding talks with senior Egyptian officials. The sources also confirmed that Haniyeh has requested that Egypt reopen the Rafah Crossing, which was closed Monday in response to fire on an Israeli Border Police officer, who is currently in critical condition.

Egypt, for its part, demanded that Haniyeh take steps to prove "good intentions" before the Rafah Crossing would be reopened. The sources emphasized to Haniyeh that any unilateral action on the part of Hamas, without prior coordination with Egypt, would likely harm the relations between the two sides. The sources also said that the current Israeli government is different in its approach to Gaza, and that Egypt would like to utilize that for the purpose of reaching a permanent ceasefire agreement.

According to the report, Haniyeh said that Hamas is willing to renew the negotiations with Israel on the issues of a ceasefire and a prisoner exchange.



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