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Egypt’s Islamists play to anti-Israel sentiment

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"Improved relations were with the former regime ... against the will of the people, the will of Arab people and the will of Palestinians. Now relations are different."

Beyond religious links to Jerusalem, the Brotherhood inspired the formation of Islamic militant groups around the Middle East, including the Palestinian Hamas. Badie, who was once part of a group of radical members charged with seeking to overthrow Egypt’s government, has since renounced violence, but supports Hamas in its "resistance" against Israel and met with Hamas premier Ismail Haniyeh last year in Cairo.

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Soltan, the political science professor, warned that the Brotherhood and Morsi cannot continue this "duality" for long.

"They continue to be torn apart between ideology on the one hand and politics on the other," he said. "To survive as a president for Egypt he has to pursue a moderate policy vis-a-vis Israel and there will definitely be people in the Brotherhood who don’t like that."

Associated Press correspondents Sarah El Deeb in Cairo and Diaa Hadid in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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