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Hamas praises Morsi Egypt win, Gaza celebrates

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories, Jun 24 – Palestinians in Gaza celebrated on Sunday, as Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi was named winner of Egypt’s presidential election, with Hamas hailing a “historic moment.”

And the Palestinian Authority in charge of the West Bank issued its own congratulations to Morsi, who is set to become Egypt’s first post-uprising president.

Senior Hamas official Mahmud Zahar told AFP that the victory was “a historic moment and a new era in the history of Egypt,” as Gazans cheered and fired volleys of celebratory gunfire in the streets of the Palestinian territory.

The Hamas Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip has long-standing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, and grew from the Egyptian organisation that saw its candidate win 51.73 percent of the vote to defeat ex-prime minister Ahmed Shafiq.

Zahar called Morsi’s victory “a defeat for the programme of normalisation and security cooperation with the enemy,” referring to Israel.

The Palestinian Authority also congratulated Egypt’s president-elect.

“We congratulate Doctor Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, on his win in the Egyptian presidential elections, and his election as president of Egypt,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.

The Palestinians have closely watched Egypt’s post-uprising transition, with Hamas hailing the rise of its traditional ally the Muslim Brotherhood, which also won a majority in Egypt’s parliamentary elections.

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