Hamas dismisses talk of strike by Egypt against Gaza

“Gaza has always been known as a burial site for anyone who dares to invade or attack it,” Hamas official says in light of rumors.

By
September 4, 2013 02:04
3 minute read.
An Egyptian military helicopter flies during sunset over Tahrir Square.

egypt helicopter 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Hamas officials on Tuesday urged Palestinians to ignore rumors to the effect that the Egyptian army is preparing a military offensive against the Gaza Strip.

“The talk about a possible Egyptian military operation in the Gaza Strip is baseless,” a Hamas official said. “We urge our people not to pay attention to the rumors flying around.”

A Palestinian journalist in Gaza City said that there was “increased talk” about a possible Egyptian military strike in the Gaza Strip.

“Wherever you go, you hear people here talking not only about an Egyptian military plan, but also Israeli preparations to invade the Gaza Strip,” he said. “Some people believe that the Egyptians and Israelis may even launch a joint military offensive to topple the Hamas government.”

Another Hamas official said that the rumors were triggered by growing tensions between his movement and the new rulers of Egypt.

He pointed out that recent security measures by the Egyptian authorities, such as helicopter flights over the Gaza Strip, the demolition of most of the smuggling tunnels and the shooting at Palestinian fishermen near the border have only reinforced the fear of a military strike.

“Gaza has always been known as a burial site for anyone who dares to invade or attack it,” the Hamas official said.

He added that Hamas does not rule out the possibility that the Palestinian Authority and “other hostile parties” were behind the rumors concerning an impending military strike against the Gaza Strip.

In a sign of escalating tensions between the two sides, Hamas gunmen last week held a paramilitary march near the border with Egypt, during which they held placards in support of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzouk has since apologized to the Egyptian authorities over the provocative show of force by the armed wing of Hamas, Izzadin Kassam.


Hamas’s news agency, Al- Ray, published an article entitled “Will the Egyptian army attack the Gaza Strip?” reviewing Egypt’s recent security measures along the border with the Gaza Strip.

The article quoted Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri as saying that he found it “awkward” that the Gaza Strip was being besieged by Arabs.

He said that the goal of creating a buffer zone between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was to keep Palestinians and Egyptians away from each other and prevent food, medicine and fuel from reaching Palestinians.

Mustafa Sawwaf, another Hamas-affiliated analyst, ruled out the possibility that the Egyptians or Israelis would launch a military strike against the Gaza Strip.

“I don’t believe there will be a military offensive against the Gaza Strip,” he said. “But if such an aggression does take place, the Palestinian resistance will respond with full force and firmness.”

Analyst Adnan Abu Amer also ruled out the possibility of a military strike, noting that the Egyptian security measures were mainly aimed at stopping the flow of weapons to the Gaza Strip and Sinai.

He said that although the security measures would have a political, economic and military effect on the Gaza Strip, the situation would not deteriorate to an armed confrontation [between Hamas and Egypt].”

Islam Shahwan, spokesman for the Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry, said he believed that Fatah and the new rulers of Egypt were conspiring to harm the Gaza Strip.

“I believe Fatah is plotting, together with some of the coup leaders in Egypt, to harm the Gaza Strip by tightening the blockade and starving its people in order to create chaos,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “They are hoping that the people in the Gaza Strip would revolt against Hamas the same way the Egyptians erupted against Morsi.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Gavel
January 22, 2019
Turkish court sentences journalist serving life another six years

By REUTERS