Hamas blasts Egypt allegation linking Morsi to movement

Egyptian authorities warn Hamas leaders Haniyeh and Mashaal: Keep out of internal Egyptian affairs.

Ismail Haniyeh on a chair, looking expressive 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Ismail Haniyeh on a chair, looking expressive 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Hamas officials condemned over the weekend the Egyptian authorities’ decision to charge ousted president Mohamed Morsi with links to the Palestinian Islamist movement.
The officials said that the allegations against Morsi came in the context of Egypt’s recent punitive measures against Hamas, including the demolition of about 80 percent of the smuggling tunnels under the Sinai-Gaza border and the closure of the Rafah terminal to the Strip.
Meanwhile, sources in the Gaza Strip said on Saturday that the Egyptian authorities have warned Hamas leaders against “meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs.”
The warning was relayed to Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Mashaal, The sources said.
Hamas has come out in support of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Some Hamas officials and spokesmen have denounced the ouster of Morsi as a “military coup against a legitimate leader,” drawing sharp criticism from Egypt’s new rulers.
Hamas officials reacted to the charges against Morsi by accusing the Egyptian authorities of seeking to punish the movement and the entire population of the Gaza Strip.
“These are ridiculous charges,” said Ahmed Bahr, a senior Hamas official. “We see these charges as reflecting political naivete.”
Bahr said that Israel had been the only country that charges people over their ties with Hamas.
The charges against Morsi are part of “black scheme” against the Gaza Strip, Bahr and other Hamas officials.
Palestinian political science professor Abdul Sattar Kassem said the charges are part of Egypt’s incitement against the Palestinians and their “resistance.”
Kassem, who is affiliated with Hamas, expressed fear that Cairo’s hostility toward Hamas will evolve into hostility against all Palestinians.
Kassem and other Hamas representatives accused the Palestinian Authority and Fatah of inciting the Egyptians against the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip.