The Israel government looks with favor on an announcement by Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, for closer economic ties with Egypt. Haniyeh told the daily Palestine in an interview that Hamas would like to see Gaza’s economy cut its ties with Israel and instead forge closer relations with Egypt. “We will restore control over the border in cooperation with Egypt.” Egypt, however, has closed the border even though hundreds of Gaza women protested outside the border area. The Hamas demand for a role in controlling the border has been rejected by Pesident Mubarak. Hamas also said it would accept the return of European Union monitors to the Rafah border crossing on condition they reside in Egypt or Gaza.
In the long run, Palestinians are linked with Israel in various economic relations. Hamas leaders frequently assume a stance of power in discussing issues with other nations. Unfortunately, Egypt has its own problems and is not interested in becoming more actively involved in issues of Gaza. Their nation has a high unemployment rate and has problems with the Muslim Brotherhood, the last thing Mubarak needs is another conflict with Islamic groups. Hamas leadership ignores reality, and, in so doing, makes things worse for Palestinians.