Hamas leader calls for committee on Egypt relations

Ahram Online , Sunday 7 Dec 2014

Egyptian relations with Hamas have been strained since the 2013 ouster of Islamist former president Mohamed Morsi, with the group accused of fuelling a militant insurgency in Sinai

Deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau Moussa Abu Marzouk (Photo: AP)

Deputy chairman of the Hamas politburo Moussa Abu Marzouk has called for a committee to be formed to look into claims of Hamas's intervention in Egyptian affairs.

Abu Marzouk suggested in a press conference in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip that the committee would include Palestinian and Arab partners and would be led by Egypt.  

He added that Gaza's relationship with Egypt is "inevitable."

The relationship between Hamas and the Egyptian government has been strained as Egyptian officials accuse the Islamist group of helping jihadist militants in North Sinai.

Hundreds of police and army personnel have been killed in the restive peninsula over the past year alone.

The military has been staging a sustained anti-terror operation in the area, ambushing hideouts, destroying smuggling tunnels between Sinai and Gaza, and killing and arresting hundreds of militant suspects.

Hamas has denied having relations with jihadists in Sinai or intervening in Egyptian affairs.

Egyptian forces are currently creating a one-kilometre long buffer zone on the Rafah-Gaza border. They also closed off the border at Rafah, Gaza's only gateway to the outside world, for around a month following a major deadly attack on security forces in October.

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