Egypt:Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in for talks

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has arrived in Egypt to hold talks with the North African country’s officials.

Egyptian sources said Monday that Haniyeh had arrived in the country late Sunday for meetings with senior security officials. Hamas officials also confirmed the visit.

The visit to Egypt by Haniyeh comes as relations between the resistance group and the Egyptian government remain tense.

Egypt has intensified restrictions on the movement of Palestinians across the border. It has also ordered a large-scale operation to destroy underground tunnels used by Hamas to transfer foods and construction materials into Gaza, a tiny enclave on the Mediterranean which has been under Israeli blockade since June 2007.

Tunnels are the only lifeline for Palestinians living under the Israeli siege.

Egypt’s tightening of the blockade on the Gaza Strip was deeply felt for Gazans when Israel waged a deadly war on the coastal enclave in the summer of 2014.

Egypt has also been largely blocking people from moving in and out of the Gaza Strip. The Rafah border crossing, the only passageway to the outside world for the besieged Gaza Strip, has been closed by Egypt. Cairo, however, opens the border crossing for few days from time to time to allow humanitarian cases in.

Cairo has also been proceeding with a plan to demolish houses in the Egyptian city of Rafah, near the border with southern Gaza Strip, to create a buffer zone with the blockaded Palestinian territory to prevent Gazans from entering Egypt.

By Africafrique and agencies

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