Monday, May 24, 2010

Egyptian/Hamas relations reaches a new low

Today, Hamas interrogated an Egyptian officer who allegedly secretly entered Gaza as a spy.

"Egypt is better off investigating how Israeli agents infiltrated Palestinian and Egyptian territories rather than sending officers in secret to collect information on the Palestinian resistance in Gaza, and torturing Palestinian [detainees in Egypt] into giving up information," [Hamas' interior minister Fathi] Hammad told the newspaper.

Significantly, however, the Hamas official confirmed that relations between Egypt and the Gaza government had been reduced to "unofficial" after the decline in political cooperation, after a week of media speculation on Egypt severing ties with Hamas.
Palestine Today discusses the deterioration of the relationship, quoting an Egyptian newspaper as saying that they are at the lowest level since the short-lived 2005 Cairo agreement between Fatah and Hamas.

Egypt has been freezing Mahmoud al-Zahar out of negotiations over a prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit.

Egypt is also upset that Hamas acted as an independent entity at the recent Arab summit in Tripoli.