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Fight against IS draws Hamas, Egypt closer

Relations between Hamas and Egypt, strained since the 2013 ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, appear to be improving with Saudi mediation.
Palestinian fighters from the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, are seen inside an underground tunnel in Gaza August 18, 2014. A rare tour that Hamas granted to a Reuters reporter, photographer and cameraman appeared to be an attempt to dispute Israel's claim that it had demolished all of the Islamist group's border infiltration tunnels in the Gaza war. Picture taken August 18, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR42YJR
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Relations between Hamas and Egypt have taken an unexpected gradual turn for the better, with Cairo expressing satisfaction with Hamas’ security approach toward Egypt, especially in the border areas. On June 25, Egyptian military officials praised Hamas for its role in Gaza, its policing of the smuggling tunnels at the border and preventing Salafi jihadists from infiltrating from and into Sinai. 

This unexpected expression of gratitude followed a June 6 ruling by Egypt's Court of Urgent Matters overturning the Feb. 28 ruling designating Hamas a terrorist organization, a move that had exacerbated already heightened tensions between the two sides. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zahri welcomed the court’s decision, calling it the rectification of a mistake and confirmation of Cairo's regional role in the Palestinian issue. He said the ruling will have positive repercussions for relations between the two parties.

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