Hamas: we will not break ties with Egypt despite disagreements
Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh [AFP]
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The Hamas movement will not break ties with Egypt despite ongoing disagreements with the neighboring country, Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Friday.
Speaking with members of the Miles of Smiles aid convoy at his Gaza home, Haniyeh said that Hamas was in "continuous communication" with Egyptian intelligence services.
"Our communication is almost daily to discuss the opening of the Rafah crossing, decreasing the suffering of our people, and monitoring movements of occupation and its violations of the truce which was sponsored by Egypt," he said.
"We cannot manage without Egypt or any other Arab or Islamic state," Haniyeh added.
The aid convoy entered Gaza via Rafah on Wednesday carrying of 100 tons of medicine, medical equipment and canned food.
Rafah has frequently been shut down or operating at reduced capacity in recent months due to ongoing unrest in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and political turmoil resulting from former president Mohamed Morsi's ouster by the Egyptian military in July.
In September, Sobhi Ridwan, head of the Palestinian municipality in the border town of Rafah, said Egypt's military rulers had shut down 95 percent of the smuggling tunnels under the shared border with the aim of creating a security buffer zone.
A Hamas official said in October that Egypt's closure of tunnels used to smuggle goods into the Gaza Strip had caused monthly losses of $230 million to its economy.
The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2007.
The blockade was imposed following the victory of Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the subsequent 2007 clashes between Fatah and Hamas, which left Hamas in control of Gaza and Fatah in control of the West Bank.
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