Setting himself up as a "savior" for Palestinians in Gaza, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi sent his prime minister to Gaza Friday in a show of solidarity with the ideologically-aligned Islamist Hamas leadership.
Before the visit, Morsi was able to extract a major concession from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who agreed to a temporary ceasing of IDF bombing of terrorist targets in Gaza during the duration of the Egyptian prime minister’s visit. This no doubt providing a much-needed respite for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist enemies of the Jewish state.
Israel Radio’s Arab Affairs Correspondent Gal Berger said in a morning newscast Friday that Egypt wants to provide a “human shield” for Hamas in the form of Prime Minister Hisham Kandil in order to restrain Israel and to limit its maneuverability. He believes Morsi wants to show his Muslim Brotherhood allies in Egypt that he’s a “savior” for Gaza.
Arriving in Gaza Friday, Prime Minister Kandil pledged his country’s support for the Palestinian people. He called for a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, according to the Times of Israel:
“Egypt after the revolution will work toward an extended calm, and afterwards for the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. That is the only way to achieve stability in the region,” says Kandil.
The Egyptian prime minister urged all Palestinian factions to unite. “The strength of the Palestinan people lies in its unity. That is the way to achieve victory,” he says.
During a press conference, he also had a message for the U.S.: “This historic visit will lead to the improvement of conditions for the people of Gaza. It will be impossible from now on to view the situation in Gaza as disconnected from the region…The message to the West and to the United States is that they must act in order to stop this bloodshed.”
Professor Barry Rubin, Director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center believes the U.S. needs to reconsider the $1.3 billion in annual aid it gives Egypt. He tells TheBlaze: “Note that money given to Egypt will be used to help Hamas which means EU and US taxpayers will now be subsidizing Hamas.”
The moral support is being felt strongly by Hamas. The head of political affairs for Hamas Khaled Mashaal said Thursday “The Israeli enemy was weak before the revolutions in the Arab world and now it is even weaker.”
The Israeli newspaper Maariv reports that the Muslim Brotherhood’s solidarity with Hamas prompted the Egyptians to reopen until further notice the Rafah border crossing, allowing more freedom of movement for people and goods between Gaza and Egypt.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh thanked President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood for their support, adding he is confident the Palestinians will be victorious, thanks to the efforts of Egypt and others.
Israeli media reported Kandil ended up cutting his trip short due to security concerns as Islamic Jihad continued firing rockets at Israel, but even in the short time he was on the ground, his message of solidarity was conveyed.