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Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to Hamas, Fatah: Work It Out

Moderate shift seen to strengthen Palestinian position
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2012 10:03 AM CDT
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to Hamas, Fatah: Work It Out
An Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood supporter (C) calms down his comrades to prevent confrontation with protesters marching against the military rulers outside a mosque affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo on Feb. 10, 2012.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – As the Muslim Brotherhood takes power in Egypt, it is already exerting its influence by pressuring Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, to compromise with Fatah, the Western-backed party that runs the West Bank, reports the New York Times. The Brotherhood had previously had a close relationship with Hamas, calling Fatah collaborators and sell-outs, but now the Brotherhood appears to believe a united Palestinian front working closely with Egypt will provide a stronger negotiating position with Israel.

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“A Palestinian negotiator will go the table and know that all the Palestinian people are supporting his project,” said Reda Fahmy, a Brotherhood official in charge of Palestinian relations. “This will be a huge change and very important to both sides.” Despite decades of anti-Israel denunciations, the Brotherhood now says it will honor Egypt's 1979 peace agreement with Israel. “Any movement of the size of the Muslim Brotherhood, when it is in the opposition it is one thing and then when it comes to power it is something completely different," said Fahmy. (Read more Muslim Brotherhood stories.)

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