The ink on the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement ending the Israel-Hamas fighting was barely dry Thursday, when the head of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Badi launched a verbal tirade on Israel, calling for holy jihad and denouncing peacemaking efforts.
The Associated Press reports from Cairo:
The top leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood denounced peace efforts with Israel and urged holy war to liberate Palestinian territories on Thursday — one day after the country’s president, who hails from the movement, mediated a cease-fire between Israelis and Palestinians to end eight days of fierce fighting.
“The enemy knows nothing but the language of force,” said Mohammed Badei. “Be aware of the game of grand deception with which they depict peace accords,” he said in a statement carried on the group’s website and emailed to reporters.
Keep in mind: This is just one day after President Barack Obama praised Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi for his role in mediating the agreement.
President Morsi, who also hails from the Muslim Brotherhood movement, on Wednesday was thanked by President Obama for “for his efforts to achieve a sustainable ceasefire and for his personal leadership in negotiating a ceasefire proposal.”
A White House statement further noted that during his phone call with the Egyptian president, “President Obama reaffirmed the close partnership between the United States and Egypt, and welcomed President Morsi's commitment to regional security.”
At her Wednesday press conference with the Egyptian foreign minister announcing the ceasefire, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also celebrated the Egyptian role:
I want to thank President Morsi for his personal leadership to de-escalate the situation in Gaza and end the violence […] Egypt’s new government is assuming the responsibility and leadership that has long made this country a cornerstone of regional stability and peace.
Badi declared that “jihad is obligatory” for Muslims, though taking up arms would be the “last stage," according to the AP’s translation.
He said: “The use of force and arms while the group is fragmented and disconnected, unorganized, weak in conviction, with faint faith — this will be destined for death.”
He called on Muslims to “back your brothers in Palestine. Supply them with what they need, seek victory for them in all international arenas.”
AP notes that Badi’s title is “General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood,” which “implies a leadership role in the Islamist group’s sister movements across the world.” One of those groups is Hamas which, along with other terror groups in Gaza, rained 1,506 rockets and missiles on Israel this past week, according to Israel Defense Forces figures.
The Muslim Brotherhood still does not officially recognize Israel, senior Egyptian government representatives have yet to meet with Israeli officials, and it is unclear whether President Morsi will continue to abide by his country’s commitments to the 1979 Camp David peace treaty with Israel.