Hamas team headed to Egypt for security talks


A Hamas delegation was to head to Cairo for security talks later Saturday amid Egyptian anger at a deadly raid on an army post near the Gaza border earlier this month, officials from the Islamist group said. “A security team from Gaza will leave for several meetings with Egyptian security,” Hamas interior ministry spokesman Ihab al-Ghussein told AFP. He said that the object was “to coordinate completely on all security issues, including border security and events which happened in Sinai and the Rafah border crossing (between Gaza and Egypt).” Egypt closed the crossing —- Gaza’s only gateway to the outside world that bypasses Israel — after the August 5 attack and has since only partially reopened it. Egyptian officials have charged that some of the 35 gunmen who stormed the army post killing 16 soldiers had crossed from Gaza through the network of smuggling tunnels that run under the Gaza border. But Gaza’s Hamas rulers have said no Palestinians are suspected of involvement in the attack. Asked if the Hamas delegation would take part in the Egyptian investigation, Ghussein said they would not be “directly involved” but would coordinate with Egyptian colleagues. A Hamas official said that the team would travel to Cairo later on Saturday, but did not say for how long.