Abbas Visits Egypt to Try to Derail Hamas Rapprochement

PA President Sees Dahlan's Power-Sharing Deal as a Threat

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has made an “emergency” visit to Cairo this weekend to meet with Egypt junta leader Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, seeking “clarification” on Egypt’s growing rapprochement with Hamas, and hoping to derail the move.

PA President Abbas and Egypt’s leader El-Sisi

Egypt recently reopened the Gaza border crossing, which threatens to derail Abbas’ efforts to destabilize the Gaza Strip and try to force Hamas to relinquish control. The risks have gotten even bigger for Abbas, however, with key rival Mohammed Dahlan now working on a power-sharing deal with Hamas.

Dahlan is part of Abbas’ Fatah faction, and one of his main leadership rivals. He and Hamas have agreed in principle to establish a “management committee” for the Gaza Strip, which would make the tiny enclave jointly ruled by Hamas and at least part of Fatah.

That would be a big political blow to Abbas, who is already in a tenuous position after a poor showing in a recent election, one which was boycotted by most of the opposition and which he still wasn’t able to decisively win.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of