Israeli daily newspaper Ma’areef reported Sunday that the Islamist Hamas movement has been long planning to have the Gaza Strip economically disengaged from Israel.The newspaper said that during years in Israeli prisons, the late Hamas’s spiritual leader, Ahmad Yassin, met with an American delegation, as Yassin gave consent to a long-term truce (Hudna)with Israel, in return for a Palestinian state within the boundaries of 1967, adding one more condition that the Palestinian economy must be disengaged from the Israeli one.
According to Ma’areef’s correspondent, Ameet Kohen, ‘ the Hamas’s spiritual leader has been absent from the scene, while his objectives have remained in effect, particularly, disengagement completely from the Israeli state’.
Kohen wondered as to would Hamas be able now to realize Yassin’s vision of disengagement?. He answers by saying ‘ this appears to be far from reaching as was spoken out by Hamas’s senior leader in Gaza, Mahmoud aL-Zahar, right after the Israeli disengagement from the coastal territory in 2005’.
Such a disengagement can be partially realized in terms of electricity, which Israel provides Gaza with, but when it comes to the West Bank, the West Bank will continue to receive electricity from Israel, the Israeli journalist believed.
The Maareef daily reported remarks by advisor of Hamas’s Prime Minsietr, Ismail Haniya, Ahmad Yousef ‘ the Hamas movement is considering carefully possibility of disengaging economically from Israel and connecting to the nearby Egypt instead’.
Yousef was quoted as saying ‘ any disengagement from Israel would mean that Egypt should provide Gaza with electricity and fuel and enable Gazans to import and export goods from and to the Gaza Strip, in a way leading to us to stop using Israeli currency’.
The ruling Hamas movement in Gaza has recently hinted at the willingness to disengage from Israel completely after hundreds thousands of besieged Gazans flooded last week into the nearby Egypt, breaking a 7-month-old Israeli closure of Gaza’s border crossings including the Rafah terminal.