Haniyeh, Gazans Celebrate Egyptian Islamist Win

Hamas Gaza head Ismail Haniyeh on Monday congratulated Muhammad Mursi for his victory in Egypt's elections.

David Lev ,

Hamas in Gaza
Hamas in Gaza
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Hamas Gaza head Ismail Haniyeh on Monday congratulated Mohammed Mursi for his victory in Egypt's elections. According to reports in the Egyptian media, Haniyeh said that he “prayed for the stability of Egypt, and for Egypt to restrain Israel's violence” in the Middle East.

Haniyeh rejected Israeli claims that Hamas terrorists had fired rockets at Israel from Sinai over the weekend. He said that Israel had made up the charges in order to have an excuse to attack Gaza. IDF forces killed four Gaza Arab terrorists Monday after terrorists fired rockets at Israeli target in the Negev.

Official results from the Egyptian elections are not due until Thursday, but the Muslim Brotherhood, Mursi's party, has already declared victory. Hamas supporters in Gaza celebrated on Monday, with Gazans handing out sweets in the streets and supporters congratulating Haniyeh. Mursi said that he was thankful to the people of Egypt for this blessed revolution, that guided the people of Egypt to this path of democracy and freedom.”

Even if he is declared the winner, Mursi may not have an opportunity to run Egypt right away. His claims of victory were challenged by his rival Ahmed Shafiq, who has accused Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood of cheating. However, in a statement Monday, the Egyptian Army said that it planned to allow whichever candidate wins to assume office officially by the end of June.