Hamas Rejects Egypt Charge of Prompting Jailbreak

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Hamas supporters take part in a protest in Gaza City, calling for the release of Hamas prisoners from jails in the West Bank controlled by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' security forces. UPI/Ismael Mohamad
Hamas supporters take part in a protest in Gaza City. UPI/Ismael Mohamad

GAZA, Jan 30 –  The Islamic Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, Thursday called for an independent committee to probe Egyptian accusations that its militants raided a prison and freed detainees in 2011.

According to the Egyptian prosecution, the detainees included Mohammed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, who was elected as the president a year after he escaped from the prison during the Egyptian uprising, reported Xinhua.

“Hamas appeals to Palestinian, Egyptian, Arab, Islamic and world’s public opinion to probe the unfair Egyptian accusations against Hamas that it intervened in Egypt’s internal affairs,” Hamas said.

On Tuesday, Morsi appeared before a court to face charges that he got aid from foreign organisations, including Hamas, to escape from the prison during the uprising that toppled his predecessor Hosni Mubarak.

Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood won the 2012 parliamentary elections. Last year, the Egyptian military responded to public protests against the Brotherhood, ousting and arresting Morsi.

Since the ouster of Morsi last July, the Egyptian media has been accusing Hamas of intervening in Egypt’s internal affairs.

The accusations against Hamas took official colour when the Egyptian prosecution raised it during Morsi’s trial.

Besides the media accusations, the judiciary also accused Hamas for being involved in the unrest in the country, and there were public calls on the Egyptian army to strike at Hamas.

“We affirmed before, during and after the revolution that Hamas doesn’t intervene in Egypt’s internal affairs. It is in interest for Hamas to keep Egypt strong and tranquil,” said Hamas.

Meanwhile according to an Egyptian Army statement, seven militants were killed late Wednesday in an army raid over the hardline hideouts in Egypt’s north Sinai province.

“Seven dangerous jihadist elements loyal to the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group were killed in southern Sheikh Zuweid city,” Xinhua quoted army spokesman Ahmed Ali as saying in a statement posted on the army’s Facebook account.

Gamil Soliman, also known as Joker who was involved in an attack that killed 16 soldiers in the border city of Rafah in northern Sinai last August, was among the dead.

Several vehicles equipped with anti-aircraft machine guns belonging to militants were destroyed during the raid, the statement added.

Security conditions have been deteriorating in Sinai since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi by the army last July.

Islamist militants took the peninsula as a stronghold for staging recurrent attacks against army and police premises.–IANS

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