Hamas delegation arrives in Cairo for talks with Egyptian intelligence

Saturday 12-03-2016 07:25 PM

Smoke and flames are seen following what police said was an israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Jul. 9 2014. Reuters stringer

CAIRO, Mar 12 (Aswat Masriya) – A delegation from the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) is arriving in Cairo on Saturday evening for talks with Egyptian intelligence officials, the movement said.

The delegation is headed by senior Hamas member Moussa Abu Marzouk, Hamas said in a statement on its website.

According to the Palestinian movement that controls the Gaza Strip since 2007, the meeting will tackle Hamas's "bilateral relations" with Egypt.

The talks will also address the opening of the Rafah border crossing which connects Egypt with the Gaza Strip.

For over a year, the border crossing has largely been closed, including for humanitarian assistance. According to a report issued on Mar. 10 by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Rafah crossing was closed since October 2014, "except for 42 days of partial openings."   

Hamas, which has repeatedly been accused by Egyptian media and state officials of playing a role in destabilising Egypt, stressed its commitment to Egypt's security and stability. 

Last week, Egypt accused Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood of involvement in the assassination of late prosecutor general Hisham Barakat. He was killed on Jun. 29, 2015 after a bomb targeting his motorcade went off. 

Hamas denounced Egypt's accusations, saying that they "are incorrect and are not in line with the efforts exerted" to develop relations between Egypt and Hamas.

Cairo-Hamas ties have been strained since the military ouster of former president Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood, in July 2013. The Palestinian movement was a strong ally of Mursi's regime.

Mursi's ouster was followed by a rise in militancy, especially in Egypt's Sinai desert. Egyptian frequently linked the Palestinian movement to the insurgency and Hamas has repeatedly denied the accusations.

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