Sami Abu Zuhri
Sami Abu ZuhriReuters

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri on Saturday slammed what he described as a campaign of "incitement and deception" by a number of Egyptian journalists against the Palestinian people in Gaza.

According to the Ma’an news agency, Abu Zuhri denied reports that Palestinian Arabs have been traveling via tunnels into Egypt recently, denouncing what he called a "Zionist-like" network that had spread the rumors and sought to sow discord between Egypt and “Palestine”.

All of the tunnels under the border area, he said, have been destroyed and both Egyptian and Palestinian Arab security forces have been guarding both sides of the borders.

Similarly, Hamas interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Buzm denounced the "attempts to accuse the Gaza Strip of (culpability in) the ongoing events in Egypt."

Commenting on a report on an Egyptian TV channel Friday evening claiming that gunmen infiltrated Egyptian territory from Gaza, al-Buzm argued that "the channel which circulated the rumor is the same channel which falsely claimed a few days ago that a Palestinian resistance fighter was killed in Sinai."

The military-led government that ousted former Egyptian Islamist President Mohammed Morsi has cracked down on Hamas, which it accuses of an attack on Egyptian police headquarters, and of planning church bombings in Sinai.

Most recently, Egypt accused Hamas of providing the weapons used by terrorists for two lethal attacks in El-Arish in October, in which dozens of soldiers were killed. Following that attack, Egypt started working on a buffer zone along the border with Gaza, expelling Gazans and destroying their homes in the process.

Earlier this month, an Egyptian court blacklisted the so-called “military wing” of Hamas as a terrorist organization.

In addition to labeling Hamas a terrorist organization and outlawing it, the Egyptian government has kept the Rafah border sealed completely shut and destroyed underground tunnels that once provided a lifeline for Gaza's 1.8 million people to the outside world, but which have also been used to smuggle terrorists and weapons into Gaza.