Monday, April 11, 2011

Egypt Softens Towards Hamas

CAIRO, Apr 11, 2011 (IPS) - Two months since the ouster of longstanding president Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's new transitional government is turning its attention to unpopular Mubarak-era foreign policies - with the ongoing Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the Gaza Strip top of the list.

"There are strong indications that Egypt's approach to the Gaza Strip will change as Egyptian foreign policy increasingly comes into line with popular opinion following the January 25 Revolution," Tarek Fahmi, political science professor at Cairo University, told IPS.

In 2006, Israel sealed its border with the Gaza Strip after resistance movement Hamas swept democratically-held Palestinian legislative elections. One year later, after Hamas seized control of the coastal enclave from the U.S.-backed Fatah movement, Egypt closed the Rafah terminal - the only crossing along its 14-kilometere border with the strip - to human and commercial traffic.

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