The extension of the Egypt-Gaza Strip border opening is a sign of alleviating tension and improving Egypt-Hamas relations, senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahar told Daily News Egypt.
The opening of the Rafah border connecting Egypt with the Palestinian territories is to be further extended until Friday, according to a statement by the Palestinian embassy in Egypt.
The border was initially set to open for three days starting Saturday until Monday upon the request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It was then extended for two more days.
On Tuesday, however, the opening of the border was further extended until Friday.
This marks the first time for the border to be opened for seven consecutive days since the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
On Tuesday, Morsi was given a life sentence for espionage in relation to Hamas and a death sentence in the “prison break” case, where the evidence included collaboration with Hamas members to escape Wadi El-Natrun prison.
The border has been largely closed on account of rising tensions between Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, and Egyptian authorities, as Hamas have been supporting Morsi’s regime.
Al-Zahar said that an agreement took place between Egyptian authorities and Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk in Egypt. Accordingly the border was opened.
He further noted that Hamas is no longer in control of the Rafah border, adding: “It will be in the hands of the Government of National Conesus (GNC).”
The tension in relations between Egypt and Hamas reached its peak in February when the movement was designated a “terrorist organisation” by a court’s decision. The decision was later appealed and cancelled by the State Lawsuit Authority.
Hamas referred to the court’s final decision as a “correction of a previous mistake”.