In what appears to be an attempt to detach itself from its mother organization in Egypt, Hamas has removed all signs of the Muslim Brotherhood from the streets and mosques of Gaza.
The London-based Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported Monday that Hamas’s Public Works Department began removing images of senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including the image of the movement’s founder, Hassan al-Banna, and ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.
All the pictures and slogans related to the group have been taken down and removed from public view, including a major banner that hung in central Gaza over the past few years with the images of the current and previous emirs of Qatar, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and two of Hamas’s senior leaders – Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal – with the caption: “Jerusalem waits for the men.”
Hamas replaced the banner with another reading: “The resistance does not direct its weapons to the outside, our compass is directed to Palestine’s liberation.”
With this, Hamas seemingly is delivering a placating message to Egypt, according to which it will not intervene in the latter’s internal arena.
The move by Hamas comes after Egypt reportedly demanded that the group cut its ties with the Brotherhood and show no presence in Sinai in exchange for Egypt’s opening of the Rafah border crossing and its undertaking not to flood Hamas tunnels.
According to the report, Hamas also decided to remove all Muslim Brotherhood religious slogans from the mosques in the coastal territory.