Monday, 4 February 2008

Gaza winners

Mark Mackinnon of Canada's Globe and Mail provides a good update on the new realities created by the end of the Gaza siege:

Hamas said that it had reached an agreement with the Egyptian government to temporarily close the border, and that it would soon reopen.

"We have concluded an agreement between us and our brothers in Egypt to operate channels at the local level at the crossing and along the border," Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said.

While Egyptian officials gave no reaction to Mr. Zahar's assertion, any pact between Egypt and Hamas would be seen as a victory for the Islamists, putting an end to months of diplomatic isolation in the wake of their armed takeover of the Gaza Strip.

Locked in a power struggle with the Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas already received a boost to its popular image from the spectacular way it broke Israel's blockade.

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