In a recent interview, Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, stated the terror group and Egyptian authorities are engaging in talks to promote bilateral relations between the two. Hamdan expressed that this development could potentially improve humanitarian conditions on the Gaza Strip but refused to give any further details about the Hamas and Egypt reunion nor answer any questions about a future Hamas visit to Egypt. Hamdan said,
“[w]e want our relations with Egypt to be strong. [They have] an active role in the area and our relations with other states will never come at Egypt’s expense.”
Hamdan’s remarks were made after the Hamas deputy political bureau chief, Ismail Haniyeh said that Hamas has no ‘military role in the Sinai or in Egyptian Rafah (Rafah is the Egyptian city that borders the Gaza Strip in north Sinai),’ which contradicts recent reports of a recent Hamas and Wilayat Sina (branch of ISIS operating in the Sinai Peninsula) meeting where discussions were ongoing to expand cooperation between the two terror groups . Haniyeh said,
“[w]e have never allowed anyone to hurt Egypt’s security in the past and we will never allow this in the future.”
In addition to ISIS, Haniyeh also alluded to the failed talks between Hamas and Fatah (Palestine political party) over the administration of the Rafah border crossing.
Hamdan was quick to appease Egyptian authorities in these talks with this statement:
“Egypt has an active role in the area and our relations with other states will never come at Egypt’s expense.”
Hamdan’s remarks on Hamas-Egypt relations come on the heels of Egyptian President el-Sisi publicly linking terrorism to the downing of a Russian passenger plane that the commander (Shadi Al-Mani’i) of the ISIS branch, Wilayat Sina, claimed responsibility for; the very same ISIS branch that Hamas invited for talks not too long ago and that Egyptian authorities have been hunting for years. For Hamas to suck up to Egypt and ISIS proves that Hamas is willing to pay lip service to anyone that may serve as a benefit/asset to them.
What are your thoughts on Hamas officials and their recent talks with Egypt and ties with ISIS? Sound off in the comments below!