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Fatah: Egypt, PA discuss Hamas prison break role

June 11, 2013 4:38 P.M. (Updated: June 13, 2013 9:29 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian Authority officials and Egyptian intelligence officials have held meetings to discuss Hamas' alleged involvement in prison breaks during the Egyptian uprising in 2011, a Fatah official said Tuesday.

Witnesses have given secret testimonies implicating Hamas militants in the storming of Wadi Natrun prison, says Yahya Rabah, a Fatah leader based in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi was among Muslim Brotherhood prisoners who escaped Wadi Natrun prison on Jan. 30, 2011. Detainees affiliated to Hamas and Hezbollah also escaped the jail.

According to Rabah, Egyptian intelligence officers say they "possess audio records of phone calls between Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leaders discussing plans to storm prisons in Egypt."

Rabah said the Egyptian public is not convinced by Hamas' denial of its involvement.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Ma'an on Sunday that accusations by former Egyptian Interior Minister Mahmoud Wagdy that the Islamist group took part in prison riots were "untrue and pointless."

Egyptian media reported Sunday that Wagdy, who briefly served as interior minister after being appointed by Mubarak in Jan. 2011, recently testified in court that Hamas participated in prison breaks during the revolution.

Wagdy alleged that Hamas and Hezbollah members entered Egypt through tunnels under the Gaza border and headed to Egyptian jails located in Marg, Abu Zaabal and Wadi al-Natrun to free prisoners.

On Tuesday, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar described Wagdy's testimony to an Egyptian court as "farcical and painful."
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