Hamas PM to meet Islamist president of Egypt

July 5, 2012 - 7:37 AM
Mideast Israel Palestinians Arafats Death

Palestinians pass by a mural depicting late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, in Gaza City, Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Arafat's body may be exhumed to allow for more testing of the causes of his death, the Palestinian president said Wednesday, after a Swiss lab said it found elevated levels of a radioactive isotope in belongings the Palestinian leader is said to have used in his final days. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Palestinian official says Gaza's prime minister will head to Cairo within the next two weeks to meet with Egypt's new Islamist president, who has close ties with the territory's Hamas rulers.

Cabinet secretary Mohammed Askoul says Ismail Haniyeh will meet President Mohammed Morsi and senior Egyptian security officials. Haniyeh wants Egypt to open its border with Gaza.

Hamas is an offshoot of Morsi's region-wide Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Gazans hoping the Brotherhood will grant them freedom of movement after five years of confinement may be disappointed. Morsi's powers are limited and he has more pressing issues at home to address.

Hamas' 2007 Gaza takeover prompted Egypt, like Israel, to seal Gaza's borders. Although the border has been cracked open, many travel restrictions remain and there is no above-board trade.