By ROI KAIS, YNET—
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said on its website that the attack on a police station in Sinai on Sunday in which 16 policemen were killed “can be attributed to Mossad” and was an attempt to thwart Islamist President Mohamed Morsi’s new regime.
The statement claimed that the Israeli intelligence agency was trying to hinder the Egyptian uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and that it was “imperative to review clauses” of the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.
Israel dismissed the claim: “Even the person who says this when he looks at himself in the mirror does not believe the nonsense he is uttering,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.
Egypt deployed at least two helicopter gunships to the Sinai Peninsula in the hunt for terrorists behind the terror attack.
Morsi, who visited the scene on Monday vowed to bring the terrorists to justice, while Cairo officials added that if need be, “We’ll strike Gaza, as well.”
Hamas rulers in Gaza are wary of an Egyptian response to the border attack, as other than the military implications of such retaliation, Egypt turning its back on the Gaza Strip is one of the worst case scenarios for the Strip’s government.
Gaza’s rulers are likely to mount their own manhunts and boast any arrests made as show of both strength and cooperation.
Hezbollah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah also condemned the terror attack on Monday, and echoed the Brotherhood assumption that Israel could be responsible for the deadly incident.
Nassrallah, who spoke during a fast-breaking Ramdan dinner in Lebanon, claimed that the circumstances that led to the attack and its intended target remain unclear, and therefore Israel is the primary beneficiary of the incident. He noted that the fact that the act of terror was attributed to Islam is unfortunate.
In a statement issued Monday night, Hamas also said that Israel was responsible for the deadly terror attack on the border.
A top operative in the organization called for stricter supervision of the Salafi groups in Gaza, who he claimed are motivated by Israel to carry out terror attacks. The operative said that the incident, which undermined the ties between Hamas and Egypt, was meant to keep Gaza in dire economic straits.
Meanwhile, Egyptian presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said Monday that the relations between the Egyptian government and Hamas “will not be affected by the horrible crime against Egyptian soldiers yesterday.”
He added that for the time being, closing the Rafah crossing was “essential to security.”