Egypt’s Islamist president and the prime minister of Hamas-ruled Gaza exchanged holiday wishes on Sunday, marking Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Ma’an news reported Sunday.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi reportedly told Hamas Prime Minister in the Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyeh that Egypt stands by the Islamist organization, and the latter thanked the former for his support of the Palestinian people.
Earlier on Sunday Haniyeh called for the exclusion of Israel from security cooperation with Egypt in the Sinai Peninsula. Haniyeh said that Sinai security should be the province of joint Egyptian and Hamas cooperation.
Egypt closed the Rafah crossing with the Gaza Strip following an August 5 terror attack on Egyptian and Israeli border posts in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed.
Haniyeh noted the importance of cooperating with Egyptian security service, but said he had yet to see proof that the Sinai attacks were connected to Gaza, the report added. Morsi’s government suggested the assailants had help from Gaza, a claim Hamas denies.
Egypt on Tuesday opened its border with Hamas-ruled Gaza for a three-day period in advance of Eid al-Fitr, but imposed tight restrictions on who could travel and did not say whether it would resume normal border operations.
AP contributed to this report