Last updated: 20 July, 2012

Haniya hails Hamas-Morsi meeting

The head of the Hamas government Ismail Haniya on Friday hailed the meeting between head of the Islamist movement and Egypt’s new president, as the “fruit of the revolution” that ousted Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt’s new Islamist President Mohamed Morsi met Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal on Thursday — the first encounter of its kind between a delegation from the Palestinian movement and Egyptian head of state.

“The previous occupant of the palace was involved in the siege and perhaps the war against Gaza, and for years refused any meeting with the resistance and its people,” Haniya said about the deposed Egyptian president Mubarak.

“But yesterday, President Mohamed Morsi received Hamas leaders and this is the fruit of patience and endurance of the people of Gaza and expresses the will of the revolution,” of the Egyptian people, he added.

Israel and Egypt have partly blockaded Gaza, which neighbours both nations, since 2007, when Hamas violently routed from the coastal enclave the Fatah faction of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Mubarak eased the blockade in 2010, but did not allow commercial traffic through the Rafah border crossing as Hamas had hoped.

Haniya is due to meet Morsi in Cairo next week.

Talks will center on “Palestinian reconciliation, the Israeli siege of Gaza, the situation at the Rafah border crossing and political issues,” the head of Haniya’s press office, Hassan Abu Hashish, told AFP.

The meeting comes after Hamas on Thursday accused unnamed “executive bodies in Egypt” of blocking the flow of Qatari fuel to the Gaza Strip which is in the grip of its worst power crisis in living memory.

The first shipment of Qatari fuel arrived in June after repeated delays in delivery and was to be followed by more shipments to operate Gaza’s sole power plant.

Morsi’s June 2012 election, as well as Mubarak’s resignation in February 2011, were celebrated in jubilation in Gaza by Hamas.