The head of Hamas in Gaza said Egypt’s new president would shield Gaza from attacks by Israel and would lift the blockade.
Ismail Haniyeh told worshippers in a mosque Friday that he is confident Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi “will never provide cover for any new aggression or war on Gaza,” Reuters reported. “We are confident that Egypt, the revolution led by Morsi, will not take any part in blocking Gaza,” he added.
Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist party.
Israel maintains a blockade on Gaza in an effort to keep weapons out of the strip.
So far, Hamas has seen no policy shift since Morsi’s election, and, according to Reuters, diplomats are saying the Egyptian leader had so many domestic problems that he could scarcely afford to spend much time on the Palestinians.
Both President Abbas and Hamas are expected to be urged by Morsi to end their conflict, which resulted in a civil war in Gaza a few years ago.
“No one can help the Palestinians more than they can help themselves. They should take daring steps to end their rifts,” an official in Cairo told Reuters.
JTA contributed to this report.