Egypt’s proposal infuriates Hamas: Economic rehabilitation in exchange for long-term truce

Egyptian intelligence chief’s offer viewed as siding with Israel.

By Baruch Yedid, TPS

A Palestinian source has told TPS that Egyptian intelligence had recently offered the Hamas leadership to open economic horizons for it in Egypt and pursue a very generous passage policy at the border crossings, in exchange for a long term ceasefire with Israel. However, Hamas sees this as interfering in its internal affairs and as an Egyptian bargaining chip.

Recently, Egypt has emerged in the eyes of Hamas as representing the Israeli position that demands a price for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip after Operation Guardian of the Walls and that there is a very significant gap between the Egyptian promises and the situation on the ground. Hamas is now waiting for Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel’s visit to Israel, during which he will present an outline for the truce that Egypt has formulated.

Egyptian intelligence presented the outline to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaderships, which included long-term discussions, rehabilitation programs, and economic aid for the Gaza Strip.

In Israel, it is estimated that Hamas is taking advantage of the relative calm to restore its military capabilities. Hamas is working to take advantage of the recent easing of restrictions that Israel has introduced in the Gaza Strip and in light of messages from Egypt and Qatar that Israel also agrees to Hamas’ request to increase the quota of Israeli work permits to 20,000.

Hamas has begun the process of registering the Gazans seeking work in Israel by itself, a procedure that has previously been the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Civil Affairs, as this matter requires direct coordination with Israel. Several sources in the Gaza Strip confirm that Hamas officials are involved in registering the workers, although Hamas officially denies this.

Meanwhile, sources in the Gaza Strip reported Monday that the payment of salaries to Hamas civilian officials began, as part of the triple deal in which Qatari-funded fuel passes from Egypt to the Gaza Strip and is sold by Hamas. The proceeds are used to pay the salaries of its officials.