Hamas smuggling tunnel into Sinai (file)
Hamas smuggling tunnel into Sinai (file) Flash 90

Hamas on Monday denied Israeli accusations that wounded Islamic State terrorists from Egypt had been smuggled through tunnels to receive medical care in Gaza. 

IDF General Yoav Mordechai had accused the jihadist group of smuggling wounded fighters from Sinai Province - the ISIS affiliate in northern Egypt - through tunnels into the Palestinian enclave for treatment.

"We have reliable information that the members of ISIS in the Sinai entered the Gaza Strip via tunnels to be treated in Hamas hospitals," Mordechai said in an interview with the Arabic-language website Elaph.

Mordechai heads the Defense Ministry body responsible for coordinating Israeli government activity in Judea-Samaria and vis-a-vis Gaza, known as COGAT. 

He alleged that wounded terrorists were taken to hospital in Khan Yunis, according to a transcript of parts of the interview provided to AFP by COGAT, but provided no other evidence for the claim.

The Hamas interior ministry immediately dismissed the allegations as "false."

Spokesman Iyad al-Bozom said the allegations were "aimed at inciting against the Gaza Strip and causing tension in the relationship between the Strip and the Arab Republic of Egypt (while) working to tighten the siege."

An Israeli blockade imposed for security reasons does restrict movement in and out of the territory, but Egypt too has in recent years stepped up its campaign to restore quiet to Sinai by destroying hundreds of smuggling tunnels from Gaza. 

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra, meanwhile, alleged hospitals in the enclave treat only local residents.

AFP contributed to this report.