Egyptians and Hamas hashing out deal to ease border restrictions
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Egyptians and Hamas hashing out deal to ease border restrictions

Gazan rulers want access to airport, seaport as part of ceasefire agreement with Israel

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Palestinian children take part in a protest at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza in the southern Gaza Strip on June 21, 2011. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)
Palestinian children take part in a protest at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza in the southern Gaza Strip on June 21, 2011. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90)

Hamas officials and representatives from the Egyptian intelligence services are meeting in Cairo to discuss the relaxing of border restrictions on the Gaza Strip, Israel Radio reported on Monday.

Hamas leaders want control of the enclave’s sea port and airfield, in addition to eased movement between Egypt and Gaza and between Gaza and Israel.

Israel and Egypt both agreed to discuss easing the restrictions on the Strip as a part of a ceasefire agreement that ended eight days of fighting last week.

According to the report, based on information from the East Jerusalem Al-Quds daily newspaper, Hamas wants more exports from Gaza to the West Bank and abroad as well as more permits giving importers the right to cross into Israel. The terror group is also demanding that Israel reduce the scope of items it bans from importing into Gaza, e.g., construction materials, chemicals, and steel.

The restrictions have spawned a black market of goods imported via warrens of hundreds of smuggling tunnels beneath the Gaza-Egypt border. Egypt recently began destroying the tunnels as part of a crackdown on terror in the Sinai Peninsula.

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