Hamas denies involvements in Sinai attack

Egyptian paper names 3 members of Hamas's armed wing of involvement in terrorist attack that killed 16 Egyptian guards.

Exploded vehicle in Sinai Attack 390 (photo credit: IDF Spokesman's Office)
Exploded vehicle in Sinai Attack 390
(photo credit: IDF Spokesman's Office)
Hamas’s armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, on Thursday vehemently denied involvement in a terrorist attack that killed 16 Egyptian border guards in Sinai last August.
The denial came in response to a report in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram which named three Hamas members as having participated in the killing of the soldiers.
The three men, all senior figures in Izzadin Kassam, were identified as Ayman Nofal, Muhammad Ibrahim Abu Shamalah and Read al-Attar.
According to the report, Attar was one of those who planned and executed the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit in 2006.
The paper said that Hamas decided to carry out the attack on the Egyptian military outpost in retaliation against the Egyptian army’s destruction of a large number of smuggling tunnels along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
Al-Ahram editor Ashraf Bader said Egyptian intelligence and security officers confirmed to him the involvement of the Hamas men in the killings.
Abu Obaida, spokesman for Izzadin Kassam, accused the Egyptian media of lying and attempting to involve Hamas in Egypt’s internal affairs.
He said that the report in Al-Ahram was nothing but “illusions and lies nesting in the head of its editor.” The Hamas spokesman said that his movement would sue the Egyptian newspaper for engaging in lies and fraud.
The latest report follows a series of allegations in the Egyptian media about Hamas’s alleged attempts to undermine Egyptian security and stability.
Earlier this year, an Egyptian TV station quoted security officials in Cairo as saying that Hamas has sent thousands of its men to the Egyptian capital to protect President Mohamed Morsi against his political opponents. This report was also denied by Hamas.
Some Hamas officials believe that Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank are behind the Egyptian accusations.
The officials said that the PA security forces were trying to drive a wedge between Hamas and the Egyptians “with the help of former aides to ousted president Hosni Mubarak.”