Scores of Palestinian militants who had been stranded in Egypt since Hamas seized Gaza in June returned to the territory on Sunday, witnesses said, signaling possible new accommodation between Cairo and the Islamist group.This story, if true, is troubling on many levels.
Egypt, the architect of Arab rapprochement with Israel, has straddled a diplomatic fence with Hamas, neither shunning it nor accepting its violent removal of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction from the Gaza Strip.
But in what Hamas sources described as a deal between Hamas and Egypt, around 85 militants crossed into Gaza overnight through Rafah, a terminal on the Egyptian border which had been closed for three months after Abbas's monitors were chased out.
The militants, whom witnesses and Hamas sources said included senior Hamas figures, had refused to avail themselves of an alternative return route to Gaza that runs through neighboring Israel for fear of being arrested by the Israelis.
There was no immediate comment from Cairo.
It shows Egypt to be collaborating with Hamas.
Even worse, it shows that Egypt is ignoring the agreement that only allowed Rafah to be opened in the presence of the EU monitors. Either that, or somehow the EU gave the green light for this transfer.
Either way, this is something that responsible journalists should follow up on.