News24

Morsi, Hamas's Haniya discuss Gaza

2012-07-27 07:43

Cairo - Egypt's president Mohammed Morsi and Hamas' leader in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniya, on Thursday examined easing restrictions on residents of the Palestinian enclave, Morsi's spokesperson said.

Haniya's visit to Cairo, the second by a top-ranking Hamas official since the Islamist Morsi's election last month, came days after Palestinian officials said Egypt had eased visa requirements for Gazans under 40.

Morsi and Haniya discussed "solutions relating to lifting the siege and alleviating the suffering of Gazans," said Morsi spokesperson Yassir Ali in comments published by the official MENA news agency.

Haniya made no statement after the talks.

Last week, he had hailed the meeting as a "fruit of the revolution" that overthrew Morsi's predecessor Hosni Mubarak early last year. Hamas is an offshoot of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood.

Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007 after routing president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah from the territory neighbouring Israel and Egypt, hoped Morsi's election victory would strengthen its position.

Gaza has been under semi-blockade by Israel and Egypt since Hamas took over the enclave. Mubarak eased the blockade under pressure in 2010, but did not allow commercial traffic through the Rafah border crossing as Hamas had hoped.

Morsi met Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal last week, after saying that he would not favour either of their factions as Egypt attempts to reconcile them.