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Hamas PM in Egypt

Prime Minister of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh crosses the Rafah border from Gaza to Cairo

PM Ismail Haniyeh speaking during Friday prayers at Al Azhar mosque in Cairo in February 2012  (AFP File Photo)
PM Ismail Haniyeh speaking during Friday prayers at Al Azhar mosque in Cairo in February 2012 (AFP File Photo)

Hamas Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh has crossed the Rafah border crossing on Friday to attend a meeting of the political bureau of Hamas set to be held in the next few days in Cairo.

Hamas officials will discuss the organisation’s policies for the upcoming four years, state-run news agency MENA reported. Haniyeh came to Egypt along with a delegation of around a dozen Hamas officials.

Haniyeh is expected to be holding meetings with Egyptian officials to discuss developments in the Gaza Strip as well as to discuss reconciliation with other Palestinian organisations like Fatah.

Hamas and Fatah’s latest round of reconciliation talks was in Cairo last May. During the talks, the two Palestinian factions discussed forming a unified government.

Earlier on Friday, while he was delivering his Friday prayer speech, Haniyeh asserted that Hamas is a united and that there are no conflicting groups or divisions that follow different countries inside Hamas.

He said that media claims of conflicts inside Hamas are an attempt to discredit the movement.

He called on the Palestinian Authority to stop seeking negotiations with Israel, describing them as an illusion.

Hamas and Fatah’s conflict dates back to 2006 when Hamas won the Palestinain Legislative Council elections. The victory was followed by disputes eventually leading to an armed conflict between Hamas and Fatah.

As for Hamas’ relationship with Egypt, Haniyeh said it is built on three pillars: not intervening in Egypt’s internal affairs, remaining at an equal distance from all political groups in Egypt, and Egypt’s stability.

The Hamas prime minister also denied in his speech any involvement in Syrian affairs, adding that Hamas is on the side of the Syrian people.

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