A Hamas official on Wednesday downplayed expectations from Egypt’s President Muhammad Mursi following Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh’s recent visit to Cairo.
Hamas leader Ahmad Yousef told Ma’an that Haniyeh met with Mursi to congratulate him on his recent election and to discuss problems facing the Gaza Strip, particularly the power crisis and medical shortages.
The transition from Cairo’s pledges to ease life in Gaza to actions on the ground will be left to specialists within ministries and security services, Yousef said.
“It is premature to talk about Egypt’s commitment to implement agreements.”
Palestinians must realize Cairo has its own problems to deal with, particularly in terms of fuel and the security situation in the Sinai, Yousef said.
“All meetings are open and issues are discussed clearly and frankly, and (Mursi) has promised improvements, but Egypt’s circumstances do not help,” he added, noting that Egypt was in a transitional phase.
The Hamas leader said Egypt supported Palestinian unity but had been clear that the solution to the split was in Palestinian hands. Egyptian officials say the division allows Israel to continue expanding settlements and blockading Gaza, according to Yousef.
Yousef said Hamas and Fatah were both responsible for the freeze in progress toward reconciliation. “Each side is looking for excuses to escape and throw the ball into the other side’s court,” he said.
National unity is delayed because of a lack of political will, and pressures on both sides not to reconcile can only be overcome by political determination, he added.
Yousef also said the Palestinian cause had lost momentum because of political sectarianism. Due to the division, Palestine is no longer at the top of the agenda for Arab and Islamic states, he said.