For all the talk about the Hamas-Fatah "Unity Government," it remains clear that the two sides cannot stand each other and elections are consistently postponed.
More success was expected from a reconciliation between Hamas and Egypt--especially with the growing power and influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
And yet the fighting between Hamas and Egypt and been public and acrimonious:
The high hopes Gaza’s Hamas leaders had in the Egyptian revolution and the ouster of their old nemesis, Hosni Mubarak, have been swallowed up by growing acrimony and traditional distrust.But the arguments between Egpyt go beyond the recent fuel crisis that has hit Gaza. It even goes beyond accusations from Cairo that Gazans have been buying gas in Egypt to resell back in Gaza at a profit:
Tensions were on display during the fighting between Israel and Gaza-based militant groups last week, when Egypt’s efforts to broker a truce were subject to repeated delays and violations. The ceasefire gradually went into affect, and now the two sides are back to sniping over who is responsible for the fuel shortage in Gaza that has been behind weeks of brownouts and blackouts.
The latest bickering comes against a background of disappointment on the part of the two neighbors.These are no small differences of opinion. Egypt may stand beside Hamas and try to dissuade Israel from an all-out attack on Gaza, but Egypt does not need the tzuris Hamas has been causing.
Cairo accuses Hamas of taking advantage of the lawlessness in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula by turning a blind eye to a flood of 1,300 stolen cars being smuggled into Gaza and allowing drugs grown there to be shipped out. They accuse the Islamic group of being behind the circulation of some $40 million of counterfeit US currency in Egypt.
A senior Hamas security source sheepishly admitted that purloined vehicles had made there way to Gaza, but denied it was on a large scale. “It’s only 15 cars, not 1,300,” he told The Media Line on condition of anonymity.
But Egyptian accusations go deeper. Officials in Cairo say Hamas and other militant groups backed by Iran have turned Sinai into a staging ground for attacks on Israel. In fact, Israel says it has repeatedly foiled Sinai operations directed from Gaza. Its air force killed Zuhir Al-Qaisi, head of the Popular Resistance Committee in a targeted assassination March 9, saying he was planning an attack from Sinai.
One more reason to keep an eye on the growing power and influence of Islamic Jihad.
Technorati Tag: Egypt and Gaza and Hamas.