Citizens International

Hamas denounces ‘threats’ of potential Egyptian attack on Gaza

Hamas’s spokesman accuses Egypt and Fatah of aiming to destroy Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip


Sami Abu-Zuhri

Sami Abu-Zuhri, a spokesman for the Islamist Palestinian movement Hamas (Photo: Reuters)


Rulers of the Gaza Strip Hamas condemned Wednesday recent statements allegedly made by Egyptian officials regarding a potential military offence on the Strip bordering Egypt and Israel, reported state-owned news agency MENA.

“The statements published by Reuters of four diplomatic and security officials from Egypt affirm that Cairo is cooperating with Fatah to crush Hamas in the Gaza Strip,” read a communique issued by Samy Abu Zahri, spokesman of the Islamist movement.

Several Egyptian officials, who did not reveal their names, toldReuters Tuesday that Cairo is determined to “crush” Hamas after having gotten rid of the Muslim Brotherhood.

One official was quoted saying: “We cannot be liberated from the terrorism of the Brotherhood in Egypt without ending it in Gaza, which lies on our borders.”

The anonymous sources added that this target would take years to realise and includes working with Hamas’s political rival, Fatah, and supporting popular anti-Hamas activities in Gaza.

“These statements are considered the first official confession from Egypt of its involvement in destroying the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip,” said Abu Zahri, adding that it also proves Fatah’s involvement as well.

According to Abu Zahri, Egypt is trying to hide its policies against resistance forces through fabricating developments and spreading lies on Hamas.

Following the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood from power with the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi, an anti-Hamas campaign has intensified in Egypt, accusing Gaza’s rulers of orchestrating unrest in Egypt, particularly in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

Hamas, an ideological offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, has frequently distanced itself from the unrest in Egypt affirming that it has never interfered in internal Egyptian matters.

With a spike in militants attacks in North Sinai following Morsi’s ouster, the Egyptian military stepped up operations against Islamist militants in Sinai, including shutting down almost 1,200 tunnels used in smuggling between Egypt and Gaza.

Subject to a years-long Israeli seige, the tunnels in Gaza have previously been seen as an economic life line for 1.8 million Palestinians in the Strip.

Palestinian president and Hamas rival Mahmoud Abbas has also thrown accusations against Gaza’s Islamist regime, accusing it, during an interview with an Egyptian private TV channel in November, of involvement in ongoing operations carried out by militants in Sinai.

Deposed president Mohamed Morsi is currently standing trial over charges he collaborated with Palestinian Islamist group Hamas and Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah to orchestrate a jail break from Wadi El-Natroun prison during the January 2011 uprising and attempting to murder police officers. A number of members of Hamas and Hezbollah have been named among 130 defendants in the case.

In November, Cairo hosted the founding press conference for the Gaza-based Tamarod (Rebel) movement formed against Hamas. The movement, which took its name from the campaign that successfully mobilised for the ouster of Morsi in Egypt, was accused by Hamas of being Israeli agents, with several of its members arrested.

On 2 January, Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim accused Hamas of providing logistical support to terrorists who killed 16 people and injured more than 130 in Nile delta’s Mansoura on 24 December 2013.

The Palestinian Islamist movement vehemently denied the accusations.