Gazans welcome claim of Islamist victory in Egypt
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Monday welcomed the claim of a Muslim Brotherhood victory in Egypt's presidential election, distributing sweets, praising God and expressing hope for a new era of warm relations between Gaza and Egypt.
Gaza, a small, densely populated territory, borders Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. The strip's ruling militant Hamas group is a local offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and draws inspiration from the Egyptian organization.
As the Brotherhood claimed victory early Monday in Cairo, dozens of drivers in Gaza City honked their horns and decorated their cars with Palestinian and Egyptian flags, green Hamas banners and posters of Egypt's Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Morsi.
Hamas activists distributed sweets at the main intersections across Gaza, and loudspeakers at local mosques blared out messages of joy and victory. Shopkeepers in Gaza's main commercial center eagerly followed the claim from Egypt.
"The news from Egypt is a great victory for all Muslims and for us in Gaza," said Sameh Ramdan, a 23-year-old student and Hamas supporter.