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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Two outposts in Mahfad were attacked by men driving car bombs followed by shooting.
Because of drought and continued conflict, it said food shortages were expected to worsen in areas mainly in the south and southeast of Somalia.