Later, Egyptian sources said the Annan statement, which appeared on his
Facebook page, was a forgery. The government has remained silent after
Officials said Egypt has agreed to end the siege on the Gaza Strip,
imposed in 2007 when Hamas toppled the PA. They said the Interior Ministry
would open the Rafah border crossing on a permanent basis in early May in an
effort to ensure coordination between Hamas and Egypt.
"Egyptian national security and Palestinian security are one," Egyptian
Foreign Minister Nabil Al Arabi said.
Egyptian leaders also warned Israel against attacks on Hamas and
Palestinian militias in the Gaza Strip. They said Egypt would be much more
vigilant in responding to Israeli air strikes, conducted in
retaliation for Palestinian mortar and rocket attacks.
"The threat against the Palestinian government has enraged Arab nations,
which may augur disastrous results," Egyptian Defense Minister Hussein
Tantawi, who also heads the Higher Military Council, said.
The reconciliation efforts by Egypt's military regime was supported by
the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, an ally of Hamas, has called on
Cairo to focus on helping the Palestinians while cutting off natural gas
supplies to Israel.
"We urge them [Fatah and Hamas] not to listen to Zionist threats that
reject this deal, which reveals their hostile stance towards a Palestinian
truce that will return rights to Palestinians," Brotherhood leader Mohammed