Hamas denies connection to Sinai violence
Published Monday 27/01/2014 (updated) 30/01/2014 09:52
The logo of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis. (MaanImages/File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas on Monday condemned Egyptian statements linking the Palestinian group to the ongoing crisis in Egypt, denying any connection to a Sinai-based militant group and calling upon authorities to stop the "lies."
Hamas spokesman Abu Zuhri said in a statement that Ansar Beit al-Maqdis has no connections to Gaza nor to Palestine, referring to a Sinai-based Wahhabi militant group that has been behind a string of bombings targeting Egyptian state institutions in recent months.
Abu Zuhri added that alleging that the movement is from Gaza is an attempt by authorities to export the Egyptian crisis to Gaza, and called for a end to all the "lies, which only serve the Israeli occupation."
Since a July coup that ousted president Morsi, Egyptian military authorities have accused Hamas of being connected to the Muslim Brotherhood and militant groups that have waged a campaign against the government.
Abu Zuhri also denied claims made by former Egyptian general Sameh Seif el-Yazal that Sam-7 rockets are being smuggled from Gaza to Sinai. Abu Zuhri highlighted that the weapon is not made in Gaza but in Russia, and is readily available on the black market.
Egyptian armed forces launched large scale military action against militants in the Sinai Peninsula earlier in September, in what officials described as the largest mobilization of force in the area since the 1973 war with Israel.
The action comes in the wake of rising instability and almost daily attacks in the region since the coup, as groups conduct a campaign against state institutions and the military. The Muslim Brotherhood has condemned the violent attacks and denied any link.
Muslim Brotherhood activists, meanwhile, have held weekly demonstrations in protest across Egypt, which the army has violently repressed.