Egypt has rejected a request by the leader of Hamas, the ruling party in the besieged Gasza strip, to undertake a foreign tour, according to media reports on Thursday.
Ismail Haniyeh hoped to visit a number of countries that support the Palestinian cause, including Iran, Turkey and Qatar, but the request was blocked by Egypt, sources told The New Arab.
“After waiting a long time to respond to Hamas’ request, which Hamas made on more than one visit to Cairo, the Egyptian side refused,” the source said.
Cairo cited regional conditions and security as factors in its decision without clarifying, the source added.
A Hamas source told The New Arab: “It is clear that Egypt completely object to Haniyeh’s foreign tour, in protest against the countries which he would visit.”
Meanwhile, Mousa Abu Marzouk, another senior member of Hamas, arrived in Cairo on Tuesday evening, to discuss the implementation of the recent truce in Gaza.
An unofficial ceasefire between Gaza and Israel was negotiated with help from Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations following a two-day flare up in May.
Gaza exchanged rockets with Israel, in a deadly flare up in violence that killed four Israeli civilians and 25 Palestinians, including a baby.
A visit by Abu Marzouk to Moscow was postponed more than once in hope that Egypt would allow Haniyeh to go, the Hamas source also added.