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Middle East

Tension across the Gaza and Sinai region following ceasefire and Egypt's election results

media A Hamas policeman gestures at the scene of an Israeli air strike in Gaza … Reuters/Mohammed Saleh

A tentative Gazan ceasefire brokered through Egyptian intervention took hold on Saturday night, although Egyptian and Israeli security forces were yesterday on high alert throughout southern Israel and the Sinai desert.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated Sunday that “strong action” had been taken to counter attacks, and that military operations would continue “if need be.”

Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, released a statement on Saturday declaring that if attacks on Gaza are repeated, they will also continue to operate.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

Airstrikes in Gaza had resulted in five deaths on Friday and Saturday, although Israeli sources denied responsibility for the death of a four year old boy. Israel stated it targeted only military sites, a claim denied by sources in Gaza.

Egyptian security forces were deployed to the Northern Sinai region on Sunday, which was placed under high alert, and the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt was closed, as residents across the region waited for the results of the Egyptian election.

Eyewitnesses in Gaza reported jubilant scenes following the election of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Moursi.

His election throws Egyptian-Israeli relations further into question following tension around the Sinai gas pipeline earlier this year.

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