The Palestinian group Hamas has denied allegations made by Egyptian prosecutors during Tuesday's trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi that the Islamist movement had helped Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood members escape from prison during the January 2011 uprising.
Hamas condemned the accusations as being absurd, politicised and intent on targeting “the [Hamas] movement, its history and its people.”
“All of these allegations are nothing but lies,” read the press statement issued by the group on Tuesday.
Hamas, an ideological offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, further demanded an end to incitement against its movement.
“Stop exporting the Egyptian internal crisis to Gaza and Palestinians," the statement added. "It serves no one but the interest of the Zionist occupation, the main enemy of Egypt and Palestine."
An anti-Hamas campaign has intensified in Egypt after Morsi's ouster last July and the subsequent fall of the Brotherhood, with accusations spreading that the movement is responsible for orchestrating unrest in Egypt, particularly in the restive Sinai Peninsula, which shares a border with the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is based.
Hamas has frequently distanced itself from the current unrest in Egypt, affirming that it has never interfered in internal Egyptian matters.
Earlier in January several unnamed Egyptian officials told Reuters that Cairo was determined to "crush" Hamas after having gotten rid of the Brotherhood.
Morsi's trial on Tuesday was for charges alleging that he conspired with Hamas and the Lebanese group Hezbollah to help escape more than 20,000 inmates from three Egyptian prisons during the early days of the January 2011 popular uprising.
Among the 131 defendants in the trial, 70 are Palestinians being tried in absentia, some of them alleged Hamas members.
Prosecutors said on Tuesday that the defendants face charges of damaging and setting fire to prison buildings, murder and attempted murder, as well as looting prison weapons while allowing prisoners from "Hamas, Lebanon's Hezbollah, and the Brotherhood" as well as other "jihadists" and "criminals" break out of the jails.
Morsi and the 130 co-defendants are also accused of "carrying out a plot to bring down the Egyptian state and its institutions."
Prosecutors said that over 800 fighters from Gaza had infiltrated Egypt and stormed the prisons with RPGs and heavy armaments, killing several policemen and inmates. Four policemen were reported kidnapped in the attacks.
Other Palestinians have accused Egypt of fabricating the allegations.
Shady El-Sanea, whose brother Hossam is one of the Palestinian defendants in the trial, expressed his shock with the accusations levelled against his brother.
Hossam has been dead for six years, Shady told the Palestinian Information Centre (PIC), an independent media organisation.
According to Hossam's mother, he was martyred on the first day of the Gaza war in 2008. She added that her son was never a member of Hamas and had never visited Egypt.
The PIC added that Hassan Salama, another defendant, was imprisoned by Israelis during the outbreak of the 25 January 2011 revolution.