Hamas says PA behind attacks on group in Egyptian media

Fatah officials dismiss Hamas charges, say documents presented in press conference were forged.

Hamas gunmen hold Morsi poster 370 (photo credit: Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
Hamas gunmen hold Morsi poster 370
(photo credit: Mohammed Salem/Reuters)
Hamas leaders on Tuesday released documents that, they said, prove that Fatah and the Palestinian Authority are responsible for an Egyptian media campaign against the Islamist movement.
Over the past few months, reports in several Egyptian media outlets have accused Hamas of meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs.
Some reports claimed that Hamas had dispatched gunmen to Sinai and other parts of Egypt to kill civilians and soldiers.
Other reports claimed that leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood had fled to the Gaza Strip following the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.
The reports have prompted the Egyptian authorities to step up their punitive measures against Hamas and Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip. The measures include the closure of the Rafah border crossing and the demolition of nearly 80% percent of the smuggling tunnels under the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
Salah Bardaweel, a Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, told reporters during a press conference that the “campaign of lies, fabrications and misinformation” in the Egyptian media was being engineered by a “security and media committee” belonging to Fatah and the PA.
The campaign was aimed at “distorting the image of Hamas and the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip,” Bardaweel said.
He said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s office was supervising the anti-Hamas campaign together with the West Bank-based Preventive Security Service and General Intelligence Service.
The documents presented by Bardaweel and other Hamas leaders include correspondence between the PLO Embassy in Cairo and representatives of the two Fatah-dominated security services.
In one document, the Palestinian security services instruct the PLO’s media attaché in Cairo, Jihad al- Harazeen, to play a major role in feeding Egyptian journalists and media outlets with fabricated stories about Hamas’s alleged involvement in undermining Egypt’s security and stability.
Bardaweel called on Abbas to stop inciting Egyptians against Hamas. He said that the media campaign against Hamas was harmful not only to Hamas, but to all Palestinians.
The Hamas official also urged the Egyptian authorities to stop the “poisonous campaign” against his movement and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Another Hamas official claimed that top Fatah members who fled the Gaza Strip to Egypt in 2007 (when Hamas took over the Strip) have also been involved in feeding the Egyptian media with “lies and fabrications” concerning Hamas’s alleged involvement in terrorist attacks against Egyptians.
Fatah officials in the West Bank dismissed Hamas’s charges, arguing that the documents presented during the press conference were forged.