Egyptian Cleric: Hamas Conspiring Against the Palestinian People

Salafi Islamist cleric adds his voice to anti-Hamas sentiment in Egypt, saying the group is plotting against Egypt and the people of Gaza.

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Ari Soffer,

Hamas terrorists parade rocket (file)
Hamas terrorists parade rocket (file)
Flash 90

A prominent Salafi Islamist cleric in Egypt has called on Egyptians not to support Hamas in its war against Israel, accusing the Muslim Brotherhood-aligned terrorist group of being part of a joint Shia-communist plot to harm the "Palestinian people".

While reminding viewers that "driving the Jews out of Palestine is, indeed, a duty", cleric Talaat Zahran said that Egyptians should not mobilize to support Hamas as most Gazans were "Shias and communists", and because Hamas's rocket attacks were in fact part of a plan to provoke Egypt and Israel into a war which would only serve the interests of Shia powers (referring to Iran), at the expense of Egypt's national interest.

In the televised address, translated by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), he also condemned the use of human shields by Hamas's leadership, accusing them of working with Israel to "pulverize" the Gaza's civilian population.

Despite anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment being widespread throughout Egypt, for opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood - including secularist and Salafi-Islamist supporters of the Sisi government - that sentiment is eclipsed by their antipathy towards the Brotherhood and its Palestinian branch, Hamas, which they accuse of being part of a conspiracy to take over Egypt.

Many prominent Egyptian pundits and commentators have also urged Egyptians not to support Hamas, with one going so far as to say that Egypt should be helping to fight them.