The Hamas Prime Minister of Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, discussed Palestinian prisoners with Egyptian intelligence in a phone call Saturday night.
Hamas member and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Mushir Al-Masry said after the phone call, Hamas received a promise from the Egyptian side that Egypt will put pressure on Israel regarding its Palestinian political prisoners.
According to the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Addameer, there are 4979 Palestinian political prisoners currently in Israeli prisons, and 12 of them are on hunger strikes. One of them, Ayman Hamdan, has been on hunger strike for over 78 days.
Hamdan is using the hunger strike to object to being kept in administrative detention; a procedure in which the Israeli military holds prisoners based on secret information, without pressing charges against them or allowing them to stand trial, Addameer said.
Since the 3 July removal of former president Mohamed Morsi, there has been much speculation on how the change would affect ties between Egypt and Hamas.
Hamas leader Salah Al-Bardawil said in a recent statement that Hamas is not in crisis because of the situation in Egypt, nor has it been affected by the Egyptian armed forces.
There have been repeated armed attacks in Sinai on security personnel, since Morsi’s removal, sometimes deadly.
Egypt has shut down the Rafah border crossing twice since Morsi was removed from office, once for five days in a row. The crossing was partially reopened Saturday for four hours in both directions.
The Palestine Information Centre, which is closely affiliated with Hamas, denied that member of Hamas’s political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouq left Cairo with his team. It added that Abu Marzouq, who remains in Cairo along with his family, is in contact with Egyptian intelligence officials to discuss Rafah and other issues.