Cairo on Friday demanded that Hamas officials hand over three senior member of the Army of Islam terror group, as Egypt continued to grapple with the aftermath of a terror attack that left 16 border police dead earlier this week.
The request, reported by Arabic daily A-sharq Al-Aswat, which quoted sources in Gaza, came after Egyptian officials discovered one of the terrorists it had killed had belonged in the past to the terror group, which is linked to the hardline Salafi movement.
Egypt reportedly believes the killed terrorist was involved in the Sunday attack.
The move came a day after Egypt demanded Gaza hand over three senior members of Hamas’s armed wing Izz A-Din Al-Qassam Brigades for their involvement in the terrorist attack.
Egypt on Friday announced that it had killed 60 terrorists in response to Sunday’s deadly attack on a Rafah Border Police post, near the Israel and Gaza borders, which left 16 policemen dead and highlighted the growing lawlessness of the Sinai peninsula.
After the attack, Egypt sent helicopter gunships, jets and tanks deep into the peninsula for the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in a bid to root out terror elements.
On Friday Egypt also made the first arrests since the terror attack, nabbing nine men while they were sleeping in the northern Sinai town of Sheik Zweid, close to the Rafah border crossing with Gaza Strip.
Among the arrests was Selmi Zeyoud, whom the official described as a “dangerous element” and a brother to a slain jihadist. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Egyptian and Israeli officials have hinted that terrorists from the Gaza Strip were involved in the attack, which was stopped after a group of terrorists were killed after smashing through the Israeli border in an armored personnel carrier.
Hamas has denied anybody from the Strip was involved, though it did move to seal off smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt after the incident.
According to the report, the extradition order Friday included Army of Islam head Mumtaz Dormush and two of his deputies. Both Dormush and Qassam Brigades head Raed Attar are thought to have had a part in the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.
Hamas did not confirm nor deny the report, though officials said Egypt was interested in certain names of people in the Strip.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.