Anticipation of a Muslim Brotherhood victory in Egypt's presidential elections has Hamas officials in Gaza "jubilant," reports say.
While official results aren't expected before Thursday, Brotherhood-backed candidate Mohamed Mursi claims he bested former Hosni Mubarak ally and Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq in weekend voting. Shafiq, too, claims victory.
Mursi's announcement prompted street rallies outside Hamas offices in Gaza and expectations that the terrorist group will grow more entrenched in a belief Egypt's new leadership will provide more support.
"We pin great hopes upon the Egyptian leadership, revolution, army, people and presidency to bolster the resistance of the Palestinian people, which has looked to Egypt throughout history," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zohri.
That further frustrates ongoing efforts at reconciling Palestinian leadership with the PLO leadership in control of the West Bank.
"This is good news for Hamas and bad news for [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah," the Jerusalem Post quoted West Bank journalist Ayman Abu Omar saying. "The fact that the Muslim Brotherhood has won the election in Egypt will strengthen Hamas."
Meanwhile, Hamas claimed responsibility for at least 10 of at least 19 rockets fired from Gaza toward Israeli communities since Monday. They said it was in retaliation for Israeli air strikes which killed terrorists with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.