CAIRO, 24 August 2003 — Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said yesterday there would be no halt to the “holy war” against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands after the killing this week of a top militant leader.
Brotherhood leader Maamun Al-Hodeibi said he was “convinced that victory is inevitable even if American and Zionist crimes continue ... (they) will not hamper our determination to take the road of jihad,” in a letter to Hamas’ spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, a copy of which was received by AFP.
Hodeibi condemned Israel’s “cowardly assassination” of Hamas political leader Ismail Abu Shanab, who along with his two bodyguards was killed on Thursday in an airstrike in Gaza City.
The Brotherhood, banned but tolerated in Egypt, is the country’s largest opposition force and seeks the creation of an Islamic state through peaceful means.
Meanwhile, Egyptian security services have arrested 37 suspected members of the banned group Jamaa Islamiya for trying to reignite violence, police said yesterday. The suspects, who include students, civil servants and engineers, were arrested in the Cairo region where they were holding meetings to oppose calls from imprisoned Jamaa Islamiya leaders to renounce violence, police said. The suspects want prayers in state-run mosques to be banned and were plotting to “overthrow the regime,” police said.