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Egypt may find Gaza more appealing without Haniyeh

Although tensions between the Egyptian authorities and Hamas were expected to escalate amid reports that Egypt had banned Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh from returning to Egypt and subsequently to Gaza, Egyptian analysts expect relations to be more relaxed in Haniyeh's absence.
Palestinian Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh welcomes Hamas members who went missing in Egypt a few years ago, after their arrival in Gaza City February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa - RC18F17FF320

CAIRO — News about Egypt banning Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, from returning to Cairo following his foreign tour was expected to stir a crisis between the Egyptian authorities and Hamas. However, a security delegation from the Egyptian General Intelligence Service completed its visit Feb. 12 to the Gaza Strip peacefully after meeting with Hamas leaders.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in press statements that day that the Egyptian delegation met with Hamas chief in Gaza Yahya Sinwar and his deputy, Hamas political bureau member Khalil al-Hayya.

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