GAZA CITY: The Gaza Strip’s Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyah yesterday denied reports that his Islamist militant group was involved in fighting in the neighbouring Egyptian Sinai or in Syria.
“We did not interfere in the affairs of any country and are not involved in the events or differences or internal conflicts of any country,” Haniya said.
“This (is) our position regarding what has happened and is happening in Syria, Egypt, Lebanon and all Arab and Islamic countries,” he said.
“We are not involved in any incident,” he added. “Neither in the Sinai or elsewhere. We only act in the Palestinian arena and our guns are turned only toward the Zionist enemy.”
He called on the media to stop their “baseless” accusations against Hamas, which he said “is proud to have taken from its first day a principled and moral position for the people and their suffering and their right to freedom, democracy and dignity.”
Haniya made the remarks during a speech marking two years since captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was exchanged for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, feted in Gaza as a victory for the “resistance.”
Relations between Cairo and Hamas have deteriorated since July 3, when the Egyptian army ousted president Mohammed Mursi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood in which Hamas has its roots.
Since then, the Egyptian army has destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels under the border with the Gaza Strip , which supplied the Palestinian territory with food and construction materials. On Friday Gazans said they received messages from the Israeli army seeking to undermine support for Hamas, accusing it of failing to provide for civilians.AFP