Hamas refuses Egyptian mediation, Fatah supports Cairo
Hamas and Fatah announcing a reconciliation agreement - REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

CAIRO: Egypt’s recent court ruling listing Hamas as a terrorist group disqualifies Egypt to act as a mediator in Palestinian causes, Hamas said on its Twitter account Monday.

“Egypt is not an impartial sponsor for any file of the Palestine people’s file, particularly the reconciliation file,” Fawzy Barhoum, Hamas spokesperson, told Turkish Anadula news agency Sunday.

Cairo Court for Urgent Matters designated Hamas a “terrorist organization” Saturday. The same court designated the military wing of the organization, al-Qassam Brigades, a “terrorist group” on Jan. 31. The court ruling was described by Hamas as a “great shame disgracing the reputation of Egypt.”

Egyptian lawyer Samir Sabry and filed a lawsuit before the Court of Urgent Matters to blacklist the organization, saying that the group members were involved in a prison break during the January 25 Revolution and that they also had links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt designated the Brotherhood a terrorist group in December 2013.

Head of the U.S. Studies Center in Economics and Political Faculty at Cairo University Nourhan el-Sheikh told The Cairo Post Sunday that Egypt would never mediate with a terrorist group, adding that Egypt views Hamas as a threat to its security situation.

Hamas political bureau member Moussa Abu Marzouk said that Hamas cannot challenge the ruling because it is named in the lawsuit, adding that Hamas does not intervene in Egyptian affairs.

However, the court ruling is not final and Hamas could appeal it, Mohamed Farouk, a lawyer from Arab Network for Human Rights Information, told The Cairo Post Monday.

Despite the court ruling, Farouk added that the Court of the Urgent Matters is not authorized to consider such cases. Mahmoud Kubeish, former Dean of Faculty of Law at Cairo University, previously told The Cairo Post the Court of Urgent Matters only has jurisdiction over civil cases.

Fatah’s role 

“We insist on Egypt’s role to be achieved for the interest of Palestinians and the whole Arab World,” Fatah Movement Bureau representative in Cairo Dr. Hazem Abu Shanab told The Cairo Post Sunday.

“The court ruling against Hamas means that there is a problem between Hamans as branch of the banned Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian states, but this does not mean there is no way for a political track of the reconciliation efforts between Palestinian fragments,” he continued.

Shanab added that there is always a way to find and continue these efforts and there should be solutions between Palestinian factions.

“Hamas must go for reviving its policy and acknowledge that association with the banned Muslim Brotherhood is causing themselves major problem…the public opinion considers Hamas a core problem of the Palestinian people in Gaza,” he said.

Egypt’s mediation

In July 2014, Hamas refused an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire during a 51-day war between Israel and Palestine, and requested Qatar and Turkey be mediators in cooperation with the United States. The Fatah government, however, insisted on Egyptian participation.

After several negotiations, indirect talks started in August in Cairo and Foreign Minister Sameh Shokry announced agreement on a long-term cease-fire.

More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed and more than 10,000 were injured due to Israel’s five-week offensive called Operation Protective Edge, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Three Israeli civilians and 67 soldiers were killed in the conflict in the same period.

During the 2012 aggression on Gaza strip; a truce was reached under Egypt’s brokerage during the era of the former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

Egypt has also hosted reconciliation talks between Fatah and Hamas; the latest round of talks was held in September 2014. The two parties reached reconciliation and agreed on a unity government in April, but differences reemerged between the two after the announcement of a month-long cease-fire agreement in August.

The reconciliation talks date back to April 2011 in Cairo; but in 2012 both sides announced their agreement in the initial letters to reach a national unity government under Qatari mediation. It was resumed in Cairo after Fatah insisted on Egyptian participation.

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