Hamas says Egypt ready to help Gaza
Hamas leader Ismail Haniya said on Wednesday recent talks in Egypt could lead to improving the humanitarian suffering in the impoverished Gaza Strip.
The head of the Palestinian Islamist movement said it found Egyptian officials "ready to work to address the crises in Gaza" during a recent trip in which Hamas leaders, led by its Gaza head Yahya Sinwar, met with Egyptian officials in Cairo.
"The Egyptian authorities issued a package of measures and policies and fuel began to enter to the power plant, and work continues at the Rafah crossing to reopen it in the near future."
"The result will have the effect of alleviating the burden of the siege against our people in the Gaza Strip," Haniya said.
He also touched on Hamas' relations with Qatar, thanking the emirate for its support.
"Qatar's support has drastically improved the lives of people in Gaza. Doha has been there for us throughout the siege and the hard times," Haniya added.
Qatar in recent years has spent more than $500 million improving infrastructure and building clinics in Gaza.
Egypt has joined the Saudi-led alliance, which is leading a blockade against Qatar over its alleged support for extremism, as charge Doha strongly denies.
Egypt is forming closer relations with Hamas, could mean it will insist on Hamas giving up its friendship with Qatar, analysts have speculated.
Gaza has been blockaded by Israel for a decade while Egypt, the only other country the Palestinian enclave shares a border with, has also largely sealed off its crossing in recent years.
Hamas has had strained relations with Egypt since the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood president, in 2013.
The current Egyptian government led by former military leader Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has closed hundreds of smuggling tunnels along the border and accused Hamas of supporting Islamist radicals inside Egypt, including near the frontier.
In recent months though, relations between Gaza and Cairo have somewhat thawed.
Last month, Egypt began delivering a million litres of fuel to Gaza, temporarily easing a power crisis that had left the Palestinian enclave's two million residents with only a few hours of electricity per day.
Last week Hamas began building a security buffer zone along the Egyptian border to reduce smuggling.