Egypt: 12 armed Palestinians arrested

Official: Gunmen planned to attack Israelis in Sinai; Al Wattan: Hamas willing to call for elections.

sinai 88 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
sinai 88 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Egypt claimed Friday morning that it arrested twelve armed Palestinians on suspicion that they were planning to attack Israeli tourists vacationing in the Sinai, Israel Radio reported. An Egyptian security official said the group was arrested near the Rafah crossing and the Ahmad Hamdi tunnel, leading to Sinai coastal resorts. According to the report, two of the men were Hamas members and two were Islamic Jihad operatives, and all but two of the detainees arrived at Sinai through the Rafah border crossing. The remaining two came to Egypt via Persian Gulf states. A senior Egyptian diplomat told Saudi paper Al Wattan that Egypt offered Hamas to reach a ceasefire with Israel which would include the group eschewing firing rockets from Gaza to Israel. This was not the first such proposal, the diplomat told the paper. Reportedly, Hamas was also ready to call for new elections, on condition that they would include presidential elections and not only parliamentary elections.