Ismail Haniyeh, who leads the Hamas government in Gaza, said, Monday, that any attempt to harm relations between the Islamist terror group and Egypt will fail, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency. Haniyeh said, "Hamas will always be the protector of Egypt and all the attempts to sabotage Palestine-Egypt relations will fail."
The remarks came about a day after Egypt reported that it had flooded or otherwise shut down smuggling tunnels leading from the Sinai Peninsula into Gaza. Kol Yisrael government radio reported, Tuesday, that Egyptian security forces have increased their level of preparedness in northern Sinai. Personnel and armored vehicles were deployed on major roads in and around El-Arish, and security forces were searching vehicles as part of what residents called unprecedented measures.