Egyptian Government Cuts Deal with Hamas
The Al-Sisi government in Egypt has cut a deal with the Hamas terrorist organization that rules the Gaza Strip that is aimed at beefing up Egyptian defenses against terror attacks in the Sinai Peninsula in return for opening the Gaza-Egypt border crossing at Rafah and more electricity for Gaza. Hamas has already begun to clear land in order to create a buffer zone 100 meters wide adjacent to the border fence from Rafah to the Mediterranean, its purpose being to make it more difficult for ISIS terrorists to infiltrate. Hamas has reportedly agreed to destroy its smuggling tunnels at the border. The cleared-buffer zone follows the strategy Israel has implemented along its border with the Gaza Strip. Gazans will have more opportunities to enter Egypt through the Rafah crossing point and an undisclosed amount of electricity that will presumably supplement the recent reduction due to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to reduce the amount of power the PA provides to Gaza. Typically, electricity is available to Gazans for only about 4 hours per day.