Egypt has yet to respond to a request from Hamas to allow Ismail Haniyeh (pictured), deputy to politburo chief Khaled Meshal, to leave the Gaza Strip for Qatar in order to announce the group’s new political platform and the results of internal secret elections, a senior source in the group told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Citing a Hamas source, Breitbart Jerusalem reported in February that Hamas adopted a new political platform supporting the theoretical establishment of a Palestinian state along the so-called 1967 border lines. This distances Hamas from alliances that have harmed Hamas’ status in the international community, especially with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opponents to the Egyptian regime. Hamas seeks to forge closer relations with the regime in an effort to ease the blockade of the Gaza Strip.
One month later, the news media reported on the revisions to the Hamas charter, including the changes first noted by these reporters.
Within Hamas, it was understood that the reason for Egypt’s silence on Meshal’s request is technical and logistic and has nothing to do with the political differences between the two sides, the Hamas source said.
The source in Hamas did say, however, that it is not impossible that Egypt is sending a signal to Hamas that the group should reconsider their ties with Qatar, a country considered to be the greatest political patron of the Muslim Brotherhood and which runs the Arabic-language Al Jazeera station that maintains an editorial line hostile to the regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
The Hamas source denied that the delay in Hamas’ announcement of the new platform and the results of the elections are related to disagreement over the content of the platform. “There have been very difficult debates, especially on the issue of recognizing a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders,” he said, “but from the moment a decision was made by the movement, all the institutions and all the members have committed and there is no more place for these debates.”
The source clarified that the recognition of the 1967 borders “does not mean in any way a recognition of the state of Israel, which continues, as far as we’re concerned, to be an occupying entity. We recognize the political and international constraints that dictate to the Palestinians at this stage the principles of a state on the 1967 borderlines but we will never recognize Israel.”