A new era has begun between Hamas and the current Egyptian government, with the expectation that bilateral relations will improve, deputy head of Hamas’s political office Mousa Abu Marzouk said on Sunday.
“Talks between Egypt and Hamas should not be discussed by media outlets. Bilateral negotiations between Egypt and Hamas are still ongoing. Our upcoming practices will prove our new intentions,” Abu Marzouk clarified on his official Facebook page.
Hamas held a meeting with Egyptian intelligence officials on 12 March to discuss vital issues related to security along the borders between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
A leading figure in Hamas and Abu Marzouk’s assistant, Osama Amer, told Daily News Egypt on Monday: “The last meeting held between Egyptian intelligence and the Hamas delegation was a positive one. Hamas is keen to cooperate with Egypt national security, and relations are progressing well.”
A number of other matters were discussed with Egyptian intelligence, but Amer said these will remain a secret and are not available for media outlets.
“We provided evidence during the meeting that acquits us from all rumoured and directed accusations. Hamas will not hurt Egypt,” Amer pointed out
Hamas is starting new era of relations with Egypt, and all accusations against it by Egyptian media outlets are now in the past, Amer asserted. Hamas will confront any future accusations via its media, represented in its official spokesperson and two television channels, ‘Al Quds’ and ‘Al Aqsa’.
“Hamas should improve its image in Egypt by providing evidence of its innocence of all accusations directed at it,” a researcher at Yafa Centre for Research and Studies Khalid Saeed told Daily News Egypt on Monday.
Saeed urged Hamas to refer all members to the prosecution to prove their alleged innocence in assaults or conspiracies against Egypt in order to make progress in bilateral relations.
Recently, the Interior Ministry accused Hamas of training suspects who were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the assassination of former prosecutor general Hisham Barakat.
According to Minister of Interior Magdy Abdel Gaffar, the suspects, who are members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, received military training by elements of the Gaza-based Hamas organisation, which infiltrated national borders.
Since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi, Egyptian relations with Hamas have deteriorated, as Egypt repeatedly accused the group of interfering in its internal affairs and supporting Islamist insurgents in Sinai. Morsi stood trial on charges of espionage for Hamas, and received life in prison.
Hamas has been the ruling authority in the Gaza Strip since 2007 when it won the parliamentary elections, defeating the then ruling Fatah party.
Hamas assuming control over the Gaza Strip was considered a turning point in the history of the tunnels leading between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Since then, a full blockade on Gaza by Israel has ensued, leading to increased reliance on the tunnels for the transfer of goods.