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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Egypt's new government planning to open Hamas office in Cairo

In an interview with Al Ahram, Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party chairman Mohamed Morsi said that the new Egyptian government would welcome Hamas moving its headquarters from Damascus to Cairo:

Q: Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Hamas support the Syrian revolution and the start of migration of the Syrian Palestinian leaders from Damascus...Will we witness the opening of the Office of the Hamas movement soon in Cairo?

A: I wish to open this office, and I strongly want to open an office for the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, but this does not mean interfering in the internal Palestinian affairs. Egypt is the natural host of the issue, and the custodians of the Palestinian cause since the late forties, to support the Palestinian cause is our duty. In fact, Egypt had a distinct role in Gaza after the revolution. Egypt looks for all new guises for the Palestinian cause, and hosted the reconciliation talks on Egyptian territory. Rest assured that the will of Hamas to open an office does not mean beating the drums of war or threat of any country.
Despite his protestations, opening a Hamas office in Cairo would be a slap in the face of the PA. It would be the Hamastan embassy.

Hamas seems to be pulling out all the stops to effectively become just short of being a full province of Egypt - they want trade and travel through Rafah to be expanded, they want oil and natural gas and electricity to be delivered directly from Egypt, and ideologically they are identical to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.

The only thing stopping them from wanting to go all the way is that if Gaza becomes part of Egypt, Israel would benefit.

That's of course the number one rule for the Arab Middle East - if it is good for Israel it must be avoided at all costs.