Sources said Sunday that Ismail Haniyah had passed through the Rafah crossing earlier in the day to head to Cairo where he was planned to meet head of Egypt's security services.
The trip come just before protests in the Gaza Strip and along the border with the Israeli occupied territories against a Monday ceremony to mark the official relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, Presstv Reported.
Tens of thousands are expected to line along the Israeli-fenced border to protest the embassy move which will come months after US president Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli capital. The move has sparked recurrent protests in Palestinian territories, including in Gaza, where anti-Israeli sentiments run very deep.
Haniyah and other Hamas leaders have expressed support for a massive protest along the border against the embassy move. They have even backed calls for breaking the fence along the border, a move which could spark violence from the side of Israeli forces. Israelis have killed more than 50 people to suppress a new wave of protests that have erupted along the border since the end of March.
However, the regime in Tel Aviv fears that Monday protests could go out of control and Haniyah’s trip to Cairo may have come at the request of the Egyptian officials who maintain close ties with Israelis and seek to ease the tensions ahead of the US embassy move.
Egypt has in the past used closures of the Rafah crossing, the only gateway out for the Israeli-besieged Gaza, as a way to press the ruling Hamas movement to accept its demands.