Hamas Urges Egypt to Open Border Shut Since Sinai Attack
The head of the Hamas government in Gaza urged Egypt on Thursday to open a vital border crossing closed since gunmen killed 16 Egyptian guards in neighboring Sinai on Sunday.
Ismail Haniyeh pledged his support for Egypt’s investigations of the attack, which has led to the biggest Egyptian military assault in the Sinai Peninsula in nearly 40 years.
“At the same time I call upon my brother, Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi to open the Rafah crossing, to regain a lifeline for Gaza,” Haniyeh said at a dinner ending the daylong Ramadan fast.
“Gaza could never be anything but a source of stability for Egypt,” Haniyeh added, saying those responsible for the Sinai slayings were conspiring to tighten an Israeli blockade on Gaza in force since Hamas seized control of the territory in 2007.
Gaza’s Islamist rulers have ruled out suggestions that Palestinian gunmen took part in the Sinai massacre, and have criticized Cairo for imposing “collective punishment” on the impoverished coastal enclave.