|The collapse of the regime of Hosni Mubarak and the success of the Egyptian revolution have changed the face of the Middle East. The Egyptian revolution (inspired by the Tunisian revolution) ignited yet other revolutions in the region: in Libya, Yemen, and Syria. The Palestinians, especially in Gaza have been very enthusiastic and supportive of the Egyptian revolution and the "Arab Spring." How the Egyptian revolution can help the Palestinians, and in what manner, is the daily concern of most people in Gaza.|
The Gaza Strip has been under tight Israeli siege and blockade for more than four years now, and the Mubarak regime was accused by Hamas of taking part in this. But Israel's commando attack on the Freedom Flotilla on May 31, 2010 brought the suffering of more than 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza to the attention of the international community. As a result, Egyptian authorities opened the Rafah border crossing for humanitarian cases. Still, only the removal of Mubarak paved the way for speedy Palestinian access through Rafah.
The relationship between the Hamas government in Gaza and the new regime in Egypt has never been better. Hamas classifies the government in Egypt as a friendly one, and contacts between both governments take place on all levels. Security chiefs from Hamas and Egypt meet on a regular basis to deal with security breaches in Sinai, tunnel smuggling, human trafficking, etc. There are rumors in Gaza that Hamas agreed to close some of the tunnels operating between Egypt and Gaza, and only keep the "necessary" ones.
The recent attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo and the subsequent departure of the Israeli ambassador and others with their families could not have been better for Hamas. This coincided with the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Ankara, leaving Hamas feeling on the top of the world, with Israel isolated regionally and internationally. Hamas applauded the departure of the ambassador from Cairo as a step in the right direction — one that enables Egypt to regain its regional role and counter Israeli arrogance.
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