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Zahhar: Hamas will not separate Gaza from the West Bank
Published Sunday 22/07/2012 (updated) 23/07/2012 16:46
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Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar attends a Hamas rally in the
Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip.(MaanImages/file)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Zahhar on Sunday denied media reports that the Islamist group is considering declaring the Gaza Strip a separate entity from the Palestinian Authority controlled West Bank.

"Such news is being disseminated by the enemies of Hamas seeking to maintain the siege on Gaza," Zahhar told Ma'an.

"This issue hasn’t been addressed officially within Hamas, but some people posed it privately on their own," he added.

The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported Sunday that Hamas was considering declaring Gaza a separate entity from the PA-controlled West Bank.

According to the report, Hamas officials said Egypt would back the move, which would also see improved trade ties between both parties.

Mahmoud Zahhar said the issue was not discussed with the Egyptians at all, adding that recent Hamas delegation meetings with the Egyptian leadership were positive.

An Egyptian committee is scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip within a week to study the mechanisms needed to end the siege on the coastal enclave, Zahhar said.

The Gaza Strip will soon be connected to Egypt's power grid and a pipeline is set to be installed to provide natural gas to the Gaza Strip from Egypt, the Hamas official said.

"These issues were discussed in Cairo, but implementation will take a while given the fact that Egypt’s situation has not stabilized yet," he added.

Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal met new Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi on Thursday and hailed his election as the start of a "new era" for Egypt and the Palestinians.

The founding of Hamas was inspired by Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood -- Egypt's oldest and most established Islamist movement -- but the group now operates independently because of its location and the conflict with Israel.

Hamas has yet to see any sign of a policy shift since the election of Mursi, who is keen not to upset Egypt's ally, the United States, and weaken his hand in a struggle with the powerful military.

Mashaal said Egypt's presidency and intelligence services would continue to shepherd a reconciliation process between Hamas and Fatah that began last year.

Reuters contributed to this report
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1 ) Mel / USA
22/07/2012 17:46
BULL! Why would Hamas do exactly what Zionism wants(drive Gazans into Egypt)at the expense of losing ALL Palestine & all limited factional power they have now? Morsi has only token"Pressie"power!He's still shackled by Egypt's Hosni-junta dinosaurs,who in turn,are still corruptly controlled by pro-Zionist politicians!Clinton's creepy"nice"to Morsi,coz she knows 'Eretz' Zionists plan to push Gazans into Egypt,& W/Bank Arabs into Jordan,& ERASE Palestine totally!Hamas,focus on PALESTINE.NotPUPPETS!

2 ) Wart / Zahar's Nose
22/07/2012 18:00
I shall declare myself a separate entity.

3 ) firas / ps
22/07/2012 22:22
fateh and hamas both with palestine peoples interests at heart

4 ) Boris / Canada
23/07/2012 00:12
Zahar is well aware,Abbas has written off Hamas as a partner in any future negotiations with the Zionists. Hamas & Fatah will continue to go their separate ways.

5 ) Tibi / Tubas
23/07/2012 04:08
Zahhar is an ugly Lia , since "Hamas ALREADY HAS separated Gaza from the West Bank", or there would NOT now be two governments, and Hamas will Neither allow elections, Nor surrender power, so Gaza will probably remain separated from the West Bank. But Fatah should also share the blame, because even if Gaza and the West Bank had one government, there will remain NO physical way to move between them, without negotiations with Israel, which Fatah will continue refusing to Negotiate !!!!

6 ) Filipe / Portugal
23/07/2012 19:29
What a friggin'n clown !!!!!! Hamas effectively seperated Gaza from the West Bank when they violently overthrew the PA governmant and took control. Who in the world can believe they want to be joined with the West Pank and the PA at this time ???

This guy should be leading the local stand up comedy show in Gaza !!!

7 ) Tobias / USA
24/07/2012 18:00
It is too late to talk of "Not Separating Gaza from the West Bank".
- It Is Already Separate Now !!

Instead, now it is time to talk of Connecting Gaza to the West Bank,
which can ONLY happen THROUGH NEGOTIATIONS with Israel !!!

8 ) hamas wahabi / caliphate
25/07/2012 12:02
ofcourse
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