(JNS.org) Egypt has agreed to allow Hamas to open a diplomatic mission in Cairo, according to Yedioth Ahronoth, which cited a report in Al-Hayat.
The latest understanding between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Egypt reflects the growing cooperation between the two Islamist groups. According to the report, Hamas and Egypt have reached various security understandings such as Hamas handing over the terrorists involved in the Rafah attack that killed 16 Egyptians last month. The two sides will also discuss the possibility of opening a free trade zone at an upcoming meeting.
In a recent op-ed in The New Republic, Middle East expert Jonathan Schanzer viewed the growing ties with Egypt as part of an effort by Hamas to eventually declare independence for Gaza.
“It’s no secret that Hamas, has long considered exchanging its underground smuggling tunnels to Egypt for a policy of above-board trade. What has only recently begun to register is that Hamas may be contemplating a bolder political gambit still: Cutting its financial ties to both Israel and the Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank, in preparations for declaring full independence on behalf of Gaza,” Schanzer wrote.