Palestinians have expressed fear that Sunday night's terror attack along the Egyptian-Israeli border would hinder efforts to lift Egyptian restrictions imposed on residents of the Gaza Strip.
Egypt's decision to shut the Rafah border crossing in the aftermath of the attack drew sharp criticism from Palestinians. Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, described the decision as "collective punishment." He vehemently denied that some of the terrorists had emerged from the Gaza Strip.
Hamas and other Palestinian groups, meanwhile, dismissed claims about the involvement of terrorists from the Gaza Strip in the attack, which resulted in the death of 16 Egyptian soldiers.
Hamas deployed hundreds of policemen along the border with Egypt to prevent terrorists from infiltrating into the Gaza Strip from Sinai, Gamal al-Jarrah, a top Hamas security commander announced.