A Hamas convoy headed by Dr. Mahmoud Al Zahar, a leader in the Islamic movement, is expected to leave the Gaza Strip and head to the nearby Egyptian town of Al Ariesh on Saturday.Fauzi Barhum, the Hamas movement spokesperson, said that the convoy will meet with Egyptian officials. Barhum added that borders, crossings and the stranded Palestinians at the Gaza Egypt borders will be the main issues discussed in the meetings.

The Hamas movement, elected in January 2006, but prevented from taking power by Israeli and US pressure, took control of the Gaza strip in June 2007 after several months of bloody infighting with the rival Fatah party, led by the US-supported Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. Since then, Israeli forces have completely sealed the Gaza Strip’s borders, leading to a severe humanitarian crisis inside Gaza.

Barhum concluded his statement by saying that this meeting comes as part of an agreement between the Hamas movement and Cairo to keep working to ease the humanitarian hardships faced by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Translated by Ghassan Bannoura