World Bulletin/News Desk
A high-ranking Hamas official on Monday warned against what he described as "Israeli attempts" to spoil relations between the Gaza-based Palestinian group and Cairo, saying that Egyptians needed to understand that the Hamas-run coastal enclave constituted Egypt's "first line of defense."
"Israel is trying to send the message that it is united with Egypt against Gaza and Hamas," Gamal al-Taweel told Anadolu Agency via phone. "But we don't think this will go down well in Egypt, which has always supported the Palestinian cause."
Al-Taweel said Hamas, which took power in Gaza in 2007, has only one enemy, "which is known to be the [Israeli] occupation."
On Sunday, Major General Sami Turgeman, chief of the Israeli Army's Southern Command, said the Israeli army was in constant coordination with Egyptian authorities and closely monitoring militant activity in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
Yet he went on to express concern that "exaggerated" Egyptian pressure on Hamas in Gaza would backfire.
Egypt has launched an extensive crackdown on the smuggling tunnels linking Sinai to Gaza as Sinai-based militant groups upped the tempo of attacks on Egyptian police and army personnel across the peninsula.
In early July, Egypt's new military-backed rulers tightened restrictions at the Rafah crossing on the Egypt-Gaza border after toppling elected president Mohamed Morsi and cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood group which propelled him to power last year.
Morsi's July 3 ouster led to a deterioration of relations between Cairo and Hamas, which is an ideological offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
The crackdown on the smuggling tunnels has served to ratchet up pressure on the Gaza Strip's roughly 1.7 million inhabitants. The tunnels have long served as a lifeline for the Palestinian territory, which has suffered from a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007.
Egyptian officials allege that the tunnels are used to smuggle weapons into Egypt.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby downplayed any disconnect with the White House and said U.S. officials were constantly reviewing Syria options
Kiir will be accompanied on his visit by a number of South Sudanese government ministers and officials.
Announcement follows unprecedented talks between Myanmar’s military, political leaders, major opposition parties
Tension has run high across the occupied West Bank since the Wednesday shooting of an extremist Jewish rabbi in Jerusalem
A perforation made in a subterranean water source during mining activities seemed to have caused the flooding
Al-Ahram said Egyptian authorities asked Moussa Ibrahim to leave the country at the request of the Libyan government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni
A fire broke out at France's public radio headquarters in Paris, forcing live programmes off the air as staff evacuated the vast Paris complex where major building work has been underway
Rula Ghani, spouse of Afghanistan's new president Ashraf Ghani, have already critised some Islamic norms welcomed by Afghan society.
At least 300 ISIL militants were killed and scores of vehicles captured in clashes
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when Kiir accused sacked vice president Riek Machar of leading a failed coup attempt against his regime.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Burkina Faso on Friday to press President Blaise Compaore to step down, a day after the army dissolved parliament and announced a transitional government in the face of violent mass protests.
Erekat's statement came during a meeting with foreign officials in the West Bank city of Jericho
Catalan head Artur Mas plans to hold the Nov. 9 ballot, marshalled by volunteers, in place of a non-binding referendum on independence declared illegal by the Constitutional Court.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's comments show how the threat posed by ISIL has pushed some Shi'ites and Sunnis to overcome their sectarian differences and face a common enemy
The fresh violence comes amid rising tension in the holy city after Israel closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound
The absence of the three Muslim leaders means that only the majority Orthodox Christian countries will be represented