Egyptian-Palestinian meeting points to Gaza leadership change

An Egypt-Hamas deal may lead to a change in Palestinian leadership.   

Egyptian and Palestinian leaders met amid signs of a rapprochement between Cairo and the Hamas Islamic terror group that could shake up Gaza’s political landscape and marginalize Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas.

Against the backdrop of this shifting reality, Abbas and Egypt’s Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi met in Cairo on Sunday.

According to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, al-Sissi affirmed to Abbas that he “supports the legitimate Palestinian leadership” and described the meeting as “successful.”

Officials close to Abbas said the Palestinian leader had requested the meeting to seek clarifications on what appears to be an emerging power-sharing agreement between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and an exiled Abbas rival, former Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan.

Under the deal — parts of which have been confirmed by other parties involved — Hamas would retain control over Gaza’s security, while Dahlan would eventually return to Gaza and handle its foreign relations.

Abbas has been working to block the return of Dahlan, a former Abbas aide who fell out with his boss several years ago and went into exile.

Several Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have been pressing Abbas to allow Dahlan, a millionaire businessman, to reclaim a leadership position in the PA. Abbas has so far effectively blocked Dahlan’s return to the top ranks of Palestinian leadership.

By: AP and World Israel News