Khalil Al-Hayya, a member of the political bureau of Hamas Movement, said that the implementation of Palestinian national reconciliation requires a political decision from Fatah and the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
He asserted that Hamas will not back down on this issue, stressing the rejection of the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’ and the need to thwart it. He noted that Egypt’s position is clear that no Egyptian land will be given up and that Gaza does not accept expansion at the expense of an Arab land.
Khalil Al-Hayya said in an interview with al-Aqsa television on Thursday evening that the Hamas delegation went to Cairo carrying the concerns of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip, pointing out that the delegation discussed several issues with the brothers in Egypt.
He added that the delegation discussed the difficult situation in Gaza, the issue of reconciliation, the latest developments in the Palestinian issue and the Gaza-Egypt border security.
The member of the Political Bureau of Hamas denied the news, which he described as rumors, about the detention of the Movement’s delegation in Cairo, and said it was issued by opponents of the Movement and Egypt.
“Whenever a delegation of Hamas leaders visits Egypt, such rumors, which are circulated by opponents to us and Egypt, surface.”
He also denied that Egypt prevented the head of the Political Bureau of Hamas Ismail Haneyya from going on a tour to Arab capitals and stressed that there was no such a plan on the agenda of the head of the Hamas political bureau.
Two goals behind Egypt’s visit
Al-Hayya stressed that there are two objectives for the visit, the first of which is meeting with Egyptian officials to discuss reconciliation and other issues. The second objective is to hold a meeting between the head of the political bureau of Hamas and some of the Movement’s leaders abroad.
He pointed out that his Movement met with Egyptian figures, media outlets, and officials from the General Intelligence Service responsible for the Palestinian issue, confirming that the Hamas delegation felt they had a good reception and insurance.
Al-Hayya thanked Egypt for all it had provided during this visit and expected that there would be subsequent visits in the future.
He stressed that the relationship between Hamas and Egypt was not affected after the change of the leadership of Egyptian intelligence, adding: “We are dealing with the Egyptian state, whose policies are drawn by the sovereign bodies of the state, all the way up from the Egyptian presidency.”
He pointed out that the delegation found during their visit that “the brothers in Egypt” are following up with concern the situation in Gaza including the growing poverty, unemployment, and low salaries.
He said: “The continuation of the miserable situation in Gaza will lead to an explosion in the face of those imposing the siege, and on the top of them, the Israeli occupation.”
He stressed, meanwhile, his Movement’s support for the upcoming Return Mass March which will take place in the Gaza Strip in May. “We will be part of it,” he said.
Entry of goods
Speaking of the entry of goods from Egypt to Gaza through the Salah al-Din gate, Al-Hayya explained that there are goods that had been held since last November; the Palestinian Authority stopped its entry through the Rafah crossing, and demanded its entry through the Israeli-controlled crossings.
He added: “We and Egypt want to bring these goods into Gaza through the Rafah crossing; it is inconceivable to bring them in from Egypt then through the Israeli occupation and finally getting them into Gaza.”
Whether this will continue permanently, he said: “The entry of goods via Saladin Gate was an emergency situation due to the intransigence of the Palestinian Authority; it was agreed that these goods would enter through the Rafah crossing. We do not accept the entry of goods from Egypt via the occupation and then to Gaza.”
Egypt and the Gaza crisis
On the issue of multiple crises in the Gaza Strip, the member of the Hamas political bureau explained that they had been told by the Egyptians, especially Major General Abbas Kamel, clearly, that the connection between Gaza and Egypt is of a long history of brotherhood and sympathy towards the Gaza Strip.
He added that they were told by Egypt that it will be part of a new arrangement that allows the entry of goods to Gaza, as well as improvements at the Rafah crossing.
He pointed out that Egypt demanded the Palestinian Authority to reconsider mechanisms of opening the Rafah crossing, pointing out that Egypt has promised to find ways to overcome the difficult security situation in Sinai, so that the closure of the crossing becomes an exception.
“We were told that Gaza’s portion of electricity will increase, and all its crises will be reduced.
On the use of the term empowerment, which has always been promoted by the government of Rami Alhamdallah in Ramallah (the PA), he said that the term is funny and loose and limitless, and I asked some PA ministers what they mean by empowerment.
He added: “Empowerment in September was the dissolution of the Administrative Committee, and then in October it became the entry of ministers to their ministries, then the crossings, and now they began talking about the judiciary and collection of taxes. What prevents the PA from carrying out its duties?
Al-Hayya stressed that there is no option for our people except to unite and reach understandings on the basis of partnership and not exclusion, to face the great dangers, with which the government issue is a secondary one.
Reconciliation is a strategic choice for Hamas
He stressed that reconciliation is a strategic option for Hamas, and it is committed to it.
He also stressed that the issue of the work of the government, technical issues, and the application of reconciliation, has crossed a long way and there is no room for retreat, pointing out that the technical matters need a will and a political decision.
For example, he said: The administrative Legal Committee of Employees will finish it mission soon, but there is no political decision to apply what it concluded. There has been progress in the technical dimension, but this needs a political decision.
He continued saying, “The obstacle is the lack of political decision. Collecting taxes is not an issue. It does not qualify as a reason to block the agreement.”
Al-Hayya pointed out that the failure of the government to achieve progress in the issue of employees of Gaza in accordance with the Cairo agreement was the reason for the delay in the delivery of taxes. He revealed that his Movement suggested that taxes should be given to a neutral party and in case the government does not pay the Gaza employees, the taxes money should be paid to these employees.
He stressed that there is no problem for Hamas to include the international community to be a monitor to the implementation of the reconciliation agreements.
He asserted that the resistance’s weapon is meant to confront the Israeli occupation and is not subject to discussion at the reconciliation table.
He called on the government not to enter into a heated argument with Hamas, indicating that the reconciliation agreement was between Fatah and Hamas, and that the government is a tool of the Palestinian people to implement this agreement.
Al-Hayya called on the government to carry out its duties fully in Gaza, otherwise it would be necessary to search for another government.
Al-Hayya said that the meeting of the Hamas leadership with the Dahlan group in Cairo discussed the crises in the Gaza Strip and the dangers facing the Palestinian cause, stressing that the Palestinian issue should unite all of us.
Deal of the Century
Regarding “the Deal of the Century”, he said that there is no clear vision or information about it, but there are revelations that it seeks to re-dismantle the region, and the biggest loser from it will be the Palestinian issue.
The member of the political bureau of Hamas said some of the foundations of the deal were the announcement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the planned transfer of the US embassy to Jerusalem on the anniversary of the Nakba and providing a solution to the Palestinian issue at the expense of other Arab territories.
He stressed that his Movement had informed Egypt of its refusal to do so in absolute terms, and that it rejected resettlement and alternative homeland schemes, and the expansion at the expense of the territory of another Arab country. He also expressed Hamas’s refusal to expand Gaza at the expense of Sinai, and that the natural expansion of Palestinians is their occupied lands in 1948.
He revealed that the Hamas delegation was told clearly by General Abbas Kamel of Egypt’s refusal to give up Sinai or any Egyptian land to any other party, noting that this statement reassured us and increased Hamas’s determination to reject this deal.
Al-Hayya stressed the keenness of Hamas to establish balanced relations with the components of the whole Muslim nation, stressing that it does not establish a relationship with one party against another.
He expressed Hamas and the Palestinian people’s appreciation to all countries that support the Palestinian cause, noting that the Palestinian issue is going through a sensitive stage and needs the support of all.