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20:13, 26 June 2017 Monday
Update: 11:22, 07 August 2012 Tuesday

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Egypt's Brotherhood says Israel behind Sinai attack
Egypt's Brotherhood says Israel behind Sinai attack
(AA)

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said the deadly attack can be attributed to Mossad and was an attempt to thwart President Mohamed Mursi.

World Bulletin / News Desk

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 President Mohamed Mursi.

The statement said Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was trying to abort the Egyptian uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak last year and that it was imperative to review clauses of the agreement between Egypt and Israel.

Egypt branded the gunmen behind the attack as "infidels" and promised on Monday to launch a crackdown following the massacre that has strained Cairo's ties with both Israel.

Israel on Monday did not accept responsibility for the deadly attack.

"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.

"Umrah plans halted"

The Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers condemned the attack on the Egyptian borderpost.

The attack took place near the border crossing where the Egyptian, Israeli and Gazan frontiers converge.

"Hamas condemns this ugly crime which killed a number of Egyptian soldiers and extends its deep condolences to the families of the victims and to the leadership and the people of Egypt," the group said in a statement.

Meanwhile, closing of Rafah Crossing is leaving Palestinians, who want to travel to Mecca for umrah pray, in difficult situations.

Mahir Abu Soubha, who is in charge at the border gate on Gaza strip side, told Anadolu Agency that around 850 Palestinians had been expected to cross the border for umrah pray.

"Because of delays at the border gate, Palestinians' visas for umrah are getting expired. Closing of the border gate by Egypt due to security reasons is not a surprise for Palestinians. We are expecting that the border gate will be re-open in a couple of days time," said Soubha.

"Imperative to review Israel deal"

The bloodshed represented an early diplomatic test for Mursi, who took office at the end of June after staunch U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak was overthrown last year in a popular uprising.

The group said on its website on Monday: "This crime can be attributed to the Mossad, which has been seeking to abort the revolution since its inception and the proof of this is that it gave instructions to its zionist citizens in Sinai to depart immediately a few days ago."

"(It) also draws our attention to the fact that our forces in Sinai are not enough to protect it and our borders, which makes it imperative to review clauses in the signed agreement between us and the zionist entity," the group said.

 



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Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland
Cyprus president seeks peace deal in Switzerland

Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades said Monday he hopes to clinch a reunification deal laying out a new security blueprint for the divided island during a crunch summit in Switzerland this week. Anastasiades will attend United Nations-backed talks at the Alpine Crans-Montana ski resort Wednesday with "complete determination and goodwill... to achieve a desired solution", he said in a statement. He said he hopes to "abolish the anachronistic system of guarantees and intervention rights", with a deal providing for the withdrawal of the Turkish army. The eastern Mediterranean island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded its northern third in response to an Athens-inspired coup seeking union with Greece. Turkey maintains around 35,000 troops in northern Cyprus. The so-called guarantor powers of Turkey, Britain and Greece retain the right to intervene militarily on the island. Greek and Turkish Cypriots are at odds over a new security blueprint, but their leaders are under pressure to reach an elusive peace deal. "I am going to Switzerland to participate in the Cyprus conference, with the sole aim and intent of solving the Cyprus problem," Anastasiades said. Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is also set to attend the summit, which is expected to last at least 10 days. Greece, Turkey and Britain will send envoys along with an observer from the European Union. UN-led talks on the island hit a wall in late May after the sides failed to agree terms to advance toward a final summit. Unlocking the security question would allow Anastasiades and Akinci to make unprecedented concessions on core issues. But they have major differences on what a new security blueprint should look like. Anastasiades's internationally recognised government, backed by Athens, seeks an agreement to abolish intervention rights, with Turkish troops withdrawing from the island on a specific timeline. Turkish Cypriots and Ankara argue for some form of intervention rights and a reduced number of troops remaining in the north. Turkish Cypriots want the conference to focus on broader issues of power-sharing, property rights and territory for the creation of a new federation. Much of the progress to date has been based on strong personal rapport between Anastasiades and Akinci, leader of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. But that goodwill has appeared frayed in the build-up to their meeting in Switzerland. The Greek Cypriot presidential election next February has also complicated the landscape, as has the government's search for offshore oil and gas, which Ankara argues should be suspended until the negotiations have reached an outcome.