A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, October 22, 2012

Egypt to Provide Security for Qatari Ruler's Landmark Gaza Visit

It's being reported that Egypt's Republican Guard will provide security for the Amir of Qatar and his entourage during their visit to Gaza. Sheikh Hamad arrives at al-Arish tomorrow, will be flown to the Rafah Crossing in an Egyptian helicopter, and then proceed to a six-hour tour of Gaza via motorcade during which he will inaugurate reconstruction projects.

The visit has already raised hackles with the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, which fears this first visit by an Arab Head of State to Gaza since Hamas took over there will legitimize Hamas; no representatives from Ramallah were invited, most obviously including President Mahmoud
‘Abbas.  Fatah has called for a boycott of the trip.

Nor is Israel happy with the seeming legitimization of Hamas,

If it is confirmed that Egypt will be providing security within Gaza,  it would also seem to further indicate a rapprochement between Egypt, now led by a President from the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Hamas regime in Gaza. Hamas originated from the Muslim Brotherhood of Gaza, an offshoot of the Egyptian Brotherhood from the days of Egyptian control in Gaza in 1948-1967.

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