Thursday,23 November, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1140, 21 - 27 March 2013
Thursday,23 November, 2017
Issue 1140, 21 - 27 March 2013

Ahram Weekly

Hamas claims it’s blameless

Al-Ahram Weekly

“Even in my worst nightmares I could never have imagined people would stoop so low in their hostility to the Palestinian resistance.” So said Ayman Nofal, a leader of Hamas’s military wing the Qassam Brigades, when asked by Al-Ahram Weekly for his response to allegations circulating in the Egyptian press that Hamas was responsible for last summer’s murder of Egyptian soldiers in Rafah.
The accusations are “the fabrication of a sick and spiteful imagination,” said Nofal. “How could a Palestinian even contemplate committing such an appalling crime? What could possibly be gained from such an act? We are bound to our fellow Egyptians by bonds of brotherhood. We would sacrifice our lives for the sake of Egypt’s security.”
Nofal described newspapers circulating the accusations against Hamas and the Qassam Brigades as the “media of the fulul”, happy to adopt Israel’s agenda and attack any party that might constitute a threat to Israel. There was nothing new in such “fabrications”, he said. They echo the kind of lies concocted by the Mubarak regime such as claims by Mubarak’s minister of interior Habib Al-Adli that Hamas was behind the New Year’s Eve bombing of the Qiddisayn Church in Alexandria two years ago, an accusation that has since been proven to be false. “Today,” says Nofal, “the Egyptian press agrees that the Mubarak regime was responsible for that bombing.”
“I am dedicated to the struggle against occupation until Palestine achieves full and complete independence and the persecution of my people is brought to an end,” says Nofal, who has escaped seven Israeli assassination attempts. “I have never thought of pointing my weapon in any direction but towards the occupation which is responsible for the calamity of my people.”
With regard to the Rafah incident, he said: “Some of my colleagues being accused of responsibility for the massacre are in constant contact with Egyptian security agencies in order to serve Egyptian security. Does it stand to reason that these agencies would have information suggesting that these colleagues were involved in that crime and yet continue to maintain contact with them? If Hamas has committed itself not to attack Israeli targets outside the borders of Palestine does it make sense that they would attack their own brothers outside these borders?”
Nofal has called for an Egyptian-Palestinian initiative to counter “campaigns of systematic distortion in the media targeting the Palestinian resistance”. He also vowed that the Qassam Brigades would take legal action against Al-Ahram Al-Arabi newspaper for publishing “false and fabricated news”.
In a press conference last Thursday Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida said legal action would be taken against the editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram Al-Arabi in the course of which “the fraud and deception he has designed in order to serve the enemies of the Egyptian and Palestinian people will be exposed”.
Obeida stressed that in bringing the action the Qassam Brigades are motivated not by the need to defend themselves against the spurious accusation of intervening in Egyptian affairs but by the desire to expose the falsehoods and fictitious information being disseminated against the Palestinian people and their resistance. Obeida used the occasion to salute the Egyptian people and its leadership for their support and encouragement of the Palestinian people, adding that the Qassam Brigades “will continue on the path of jihad against the Israeli occupation until it restores glory and victory to the Muslim nation”. The Egyptian revolution, he said, has strengthened the Palestinian resistance. The Egyptian people “know the Qassam Brigades very well and support them with all available means”.
Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas government in Gaza, received a phone call from Wafd Party Chairman Al-Sayed Al-Badawi, expressing his disapproval of the media campaign dragging Hamas into Egypt’s domestic disputes. A statement released by the Gaza government said the Wafd Party Chairman described Hamas as “the embodiment of steadfastness and resistance, expressing the dignity of the Arab nation and living in the hearts of the Egyptian people”. Haniyeh was reported to have responded: “Palestine and Gaza will remain a protective shield for the security and stability of Egypt. Hamas and the Palestinian people have the greatest respect and esteem for Egypt and its Armed Forces which gave thousands of martyrs in defence of Palestine.”
Hamas government spokesman Taher Al-Nunu has announced that an Egyptian delegation representing most Egyptian political parties is expected to arrive in Gaza soon to demonstrate solidarity.
If the anti-Hamas campaign being waged by certain Egyptian news outlets has had a positive outcome, argues university student and Hamas movement activist Ahmed Selim, it has been to highlight popular support in Egypt for the Palestinian people and their cause. The campaign of defamation, he claims, has “backfired” against its makers.
Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar insists the campaign will not succeed in derailing Hamas’s determination to preserve good relations with Egypt. He stressed that at no time have Egyptian security agencies levelled any accusations against Hamas relating to infringements of Egyptian security. He claims Hamas has solid evidence that elements within the PA security agencies in Ramallah were involved in igniting that campaign against Hamas. “There are individuals in the PA security agencies in Ramallah who cooperated with Israel and who fabricated stories that they sent to the Egyptian media in order to distort the image of Hamas,” he said, adding that one day “those individuals will be brought to justice and their lies will be exposed.”
Palestinian writer and political analyst Nehad Al-Sheikh says some portions of the Egyptian media are vilifying Hamas in an attempt to tarnish the image of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi. Hamas is an off-shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and claims that it represents a threat to Egyptian security, says Al-Sheikh, are aimed at discrediting Morsi and the Muslim Brothers.
Al-Sheikh anticipates that though the anti-Hamas and -Brotherhood campaign will grow more strident as Egypt approaches parliamentary elections the impact on the Egyptian public will be short lived.
Meanwhile, Moussa Abu Marzouk, assistant director of the Hamas political bureau, denied reports that a meeting between bureau head Khaled Mashaal and Egyptian Minister of Defence General Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi was being planned. “There is no reason to hold such a meeting as there are no matters proposed for discussion between the [Hamas] delegation and the minister of defence,” he said.
Mashaal met on Saturday with MB Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie. According to Marzouk, the Hamas leader emphasised that the group fully respected Egypt’s security and interests and the principle of non-involvement in Egypt’s domestic affairs.
 

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