The Hamas terrorist group, which controls Gaza, on Monday condemned Egyptian statements linking the group to the ongoing crisis in Egypt, the Ma’an news agency reported.
Hamas denied any connection to a Sinai-based terrorist group and called upon authorities in Cairo to stop the "lies," the report said.
Hamas spokesman Abu Zuhri said in a statement quoted by Ma’an that Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, the Sinai-based group that has claimed a string of terrorist attacks targeting civilians and Egyptian officers, has no connections “to Gaza nor to Palestine”.
Abu Zuhri added that alleging that the movement is from Gaza is an attempt by authorities to export the Egyptian crisis to Gaza, and called for a end to all the "lies, which only serve the Israeli occupation."
Since the July 3 ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, who hails from Hamas’s parent movement the Muslim Brotherhood, army-led government has been cracking down on Hamas, shutting down its tunnels which lead from the Sinai into Gaza. Hamas uses these tunnels to transfer goods, weapons and even terrorists.
The crackdown on Hamas is part of an Egyptian operation against the many terrorist cells in the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt has blamed Hamas of being involved in teaching Islamists in Egypt how to carry out attacks. Hamas has denied the allegations.
Abu Zuhri also denied claims made by former Egyptian general Sameh Seif el-Yazal that Sam-7 rockets are being smuggled from Gaza to Sinai. Abu Zuhri highlighted that the weapon is not made in Gaza but in Russia, and is readily available on the black market.
An Egyptian journalist recently said that his country should “learn from Israel” and teach Hamas a lesson so that its members “learn what Egypt is worth.”
The comments by journalist Muhammad Hassan Al-Alfi were made in an interview on Faraeen TV and were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).