Relations between Egypt and Hamas are on track to go back to normal as the movement complied with Cairo’s demands to clamp down on Salafi jihadists, a senior official in Gaza told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Egypt has been warming to Hamas over the last few weeks as details of intense military action against Sinai-bound Islamic subversion have emerged, including many arrests.
In return, Egyptian authorities have started renovating the Rafah border crossing for reopening and allowed limited access for several days.
On Saturday, Egypt allowed 40 vehicles into the Gaza Strip. The official said that Egypt and Hamas have agreed on a large-scale development plan for the crossing, which will include the construction of commercial and industrial sections on both sides of the border. He added that at Egypt’s behest, several private businessmen are involved in the project.
The official added that a joint Egypt-Hamas committee has started debating a gradual alleviation of the siege on Gaza which, according to the official, signals a strategic overhaul in Cairo.
“Surprisingly, unlike in previous rounds, we weren’t under the impression that the Egyptians insist on including the Palestinian Authority and [President] Mahmoud Abbas in the process,” he said. “They probably realize that it’s futile to try to impose large-scale and far-reaching diplomatic measures on Hamas while the siege plays into the hands of Islamic State and its loyalists.”
As part of the thaw between Cairo and Gaza, Hamas has arrested 480 jihadists, a Salafi source said.
Despite the PA’s absence from the discussions, the official said, “We are convinced that Israel is in the loop and hope that Egypt’s efforts will affect the siege imposed by Israel too. Letting workers into Israel and expanding the fishing area off the Gaza shore could seriously lay the foundations of reconstructing Gaza, especially in light of the reconciliation between Israel and Turkey, Hamas’ ally.”