Deadly Gaza-Linked Egypt Border Attack by Militants Could Hurt Hamas Effort to Reopen Crossing
The weekend’s deadly attack on the Egypt-Israel border by Islamic militants with purported ties to Gaza spells trouble for the territory’s Hamas rulers.
Hamas had lobbied Egypt’s new president, who like the group has roots in the region-wide Muslim Brotherhood, to end Gaza’s 5-year-long border blockade by throwing open a shared border crossing that is the territory’s only gate to the world.
Instead, one of the first steps President Mohammed Morsi took after Sunday’s attack was to slam the Gaza border crossing shut indefinitely.
Egypt’s military said the attackers had the help of Palestinian militants, saying “elements from the Gaza Strip” aided them by shelling the Egyptian-Israeli border crossing with mortars as the attack was taking place.
An Egyptian government official charged anonymously that at least some of the attackers came from Gaza, infiltrating through smuggling tunnels under the border.