So much for Hamas’ excitement about the ascendance of the Muslim Brotherhood. While Syria, Hizbullah and Iran have supported the movement and fiercely criticized Mubarak’s Egypt for its stranglehold over Gaza in Israel’s onslaught in 2008/2009 —and let us not forget how Hizbullah operatives were detained by the Mubarak regime for smuggling weapons and supplies to Hamas via Egypt— Egypt’s MB won’t even lend rhetorical support to removing Egypt’s blockade on Gaza. Excerpts from AP’s report here:
Egypt’s new president holds the key to blockaded Gaza, but he is signaling that he won’t rush to help the territory’s Hamas rulers by striking a border deal with them, even though they are fellow members of the region’s Muslim Brotherhood.
A bilateral border agreement between Egypt and Hamas could hurt chances of setting up a single Palestinian state, made up of the West Bank and Gaza, alongside Israel.
"I don’t think they (the Egyptians) are ready for that," said Palestinian economist and business leader Samir Hulileh.
Hamas was jubilant over Morsi’s election in neighboring Egypt in June, hoping the Egyptian leader would lift years of travel and trade restrictions that have hit the Gaza economy hard.
But for now Morsi is keeping Hamas at arm’s length, focusing on his relationship with Egypt’s powerful military and with the U.S., which gives Egypt $1.3 billion in annual military aid.
The Egyptian leader reiterated in a weekend meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that he would honor all of Egypt’s international obligations.
He has also avoided preferential treatment of Hamas. This week, he’ll receive Abbas in Cairo, while Hamas leaders are still waiting for their invitation.
Morsi would like to lift the blockade, but is worried about violating international protocols, said Egyptian security officials familiar with Gaza policy, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
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