Gaza government meets to discuss Sinai attack

The head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, denied early Monday any Gazan involvement in the bloody attack on Egyptian officers at the Israeli border, Gazan news agency SAFA reported.

During a meeting with the interior minister and security leaders in Gaza to discuss the incident, Haniyeh rejected the allegation that Gaza was involved in the events, without finding out what group was responsible.

The Egyptian government meanwhile closed tunnels linking Egypt with the Gaza Strip and expressed its readiness to pursue any Palestinian proved to be involved in the attack.

The events will push Egypt and Gaza to expedite security cooperation between them, Haniyeh said.

After the meeting, SAFA quoted Mohamed Awad, Gaza’s foreign minister, as saying his government contacted the Egyptian presidential office and the Egyptian General Intelligence Services after the Sinai attack to determine the course of events and provide facilities to Egyptian authorities to apprehend the attackers.

Awad said the meeting also addressed ways to cooperate with Egypt to catch the assailants. The decision to shut down all tunnels on the Egyptian border came from Haniyeh and the interior ministry and is meant to prevent any infiltration across the borders.

The meeting also addressed ways to avoid future problems and investigate security issues pertaining to Gaza’s border with Egypt.

Awad said Haniyeh stressed during the meeting the need to stabilize the security situation and mobilize all security on the border to pursue the case.

Gunmen killed 16 Egyptian security officers in an assault at the Egypt-Israel border Sunday before seizing two military vehicles and attempting to storm the borders. Some initial reports suggested that the attackers came from across the Gaza border.

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