The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Sunday renewed its pledge to cooperate with Egypt to restore order along the border between Gaza and the lawless Sinai Peninsula.
“We reiterate our readiness to cooperate with our brothers in Egypt to ensure the security of our borders and our common interests,” the head of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, said.
“We want security cooperation with Egypt but not with the Zionist enemy,” Haniya said as he addressed thousands of worshippers gathered in Gaza City for traditional prayers marking the Eid al-Fitr holiday.
The Gaza Strip “will never be a source of instability or a threat to Egyptian security,” he pledged.
The Egyptian security forces launched a campaign to crush increasingly brazen Islamist militants in the Sinai after an attack on an army post killed 16 soldiers on August 5.
Sources in Cairo have said that some of the gunmen involved in the attack had entered Sinai through a network of smuggling tunnels which run under the Gaza border.
And Egypt has asked Hamas for information on three Islamists suspected of involvement in the attack, an Egyptian security official has said.
In the latest violence on Saturday, militants wounded three Egyptian policemen in an ambush on their vehicle with a rocket propelled grenade.