At the end of the Sept. 11 meeting of Hamas leaders with Egyptian intelligence head Khaled Fawzy, the leaders announced that they are willing to dissolve the new council they established in the Gaza Strip, and instead consolidate a unity government with Fatah. Thus, in just one meeting in Cairo, Fawzy succeeded in doing what Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas failed to do, despite the latter’s destructive sanctions imposed on Gaza. The Hamas top brass agreed to dissolve the shadow government set up by the new leader of the movement in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.
Since April, Abbas had imposed on Gaza several sanctions, including the darkening of the Gaza Strip (by refusing to finance its electricity supply), cutbacks in the salaries of the Palestinian Authority’s employees in Gaza and even cessation of funding for medical services and maintenance of hospitals. These sanctions intensified the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. But despite all that, Hamas was not willing to forfeit the new council. This was Sinwar’s declaration of independence in the Gaza Strip, which turned out to be a serious mistake on his part. Sinwar tried to flex his muscles and prove that he is capable of coping with the difficulties and obstacles placed in front of the movement. But very quickly it became clear to the Hamas leadership that their new Gaza leader was a political novice who did not anticipate the results of his steps in advance.