Egypt warning a 'very dangerous escalation': Hamas

Ahram Online, Wednesday 25 Sep 2013

Palestinian Islamist group condemns Egyptian foreign minister's warning of military escalation against them over security violations

Fawzi Barhoum
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Hamas has condemned Egypt's warning of'possible military escalation if the Islamist group threatens Egyptian security.

"[Egyptian interim Foreign Minister] Nabil Fahmy's threats of military escalation against Hamas are very dangerous and reflect bad intentions towards Palestinians in general and Gaza in particular," said Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesperson for the group.

Fahmy told pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat on Tuesday that there was "tension" between Cairo and Hamas, and suggested the group was not doing enough to secure the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

"We reiterate that Hamas and the Palestinian people do not want a conflict with Egypt," Barhoum asserted. "Our only struggle is against the Israeli occupation, which constitutes the greater danger for Palestine, as well as Egypt."

Fahmy's statement came amid tension over what Cairo says is support by Hamas, which governs Gaza and is an ideological offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, for Islamist militants in the Sinai Peninsula.

The Egyptian army claims militants from Gaza have staged joint attacks with hardline Islamists in North Sinai, where the government has ramped up security operations due to a surge of violence since president Mohamed Morsi's downfall in July.

Fahmy did not elaborate on the type of military escalation Cairo might take.

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