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Hamas accuses Egyptian media of spreading anti-Palestinian lies

Feb. 21, 2015 2:20 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 23, 2015 8:55 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A Hamas spokesman on Saturday slammed what he described as a campaign of "incitement and deception" by a number of Egyptian journalists against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri denied reports that Palestinians have been traveling via tunnel into Egypt recently, denouncing what he called a "Zionist-like" network that had spread the rumors and sought to sow discord between Egypt and Palestine.

All of the tunnels under the border area, he said, have been destroyed and both Egyptian and Palestinian security forces have been guarding both sides of the borders.

Similarly, Hamas interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Buzm denounced the "attempts to accuse the Gaza Strip of (culpability in) the ongoing events in Egypt."

Commenting on a report on an Egyptian TV channel Friday evening claiming that gunmen infiltrated Egyptian territory from Gaza, al-Buzm argued that "the channel which circulated the rumor is the same channel which falsely claimed a few days ago that a Palestinian resistance fighter was killed in Sinai."

The claims proved to be false that time, he said, suggesting they would be proven false yet again.

The Egyptian media has widely followed the government's lead since the July 2013 military coup in denouncing Hamas as enemies of the state and supporters of the Wahhabi insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula.

Hamas was an ally of the democratically-elected government of the Muslim Brotherhood's President Mohamed Morsi, and as Egyptian leader Fattah al-Sisi has cracked down brutally on the party's supporters, Hamas has also been targeted.

Beside labeling the group a "terrorist" organization and outlawing it, the Egyptian government has kept the Rafah border sealed completely shut and destroyed underground tunnels that once provided a lifeline for Gaza's 1.8 million people to the outside world.

Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have denied any connection to the Sinai insurgency, which is being waged by an Islamic State affiliate.

Both Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood subscribe to a mainstream view of Sunni Islam that conflicts with the Wahhabi Salafi interpretation of Islam pursued by IS, and in Gaza Hamas has previously cracked down on followers of IS' brand of fundamentalist Islam.
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