CAIRO: Gaza-based Hamas movement denied Saturday accusations by the Palestinian Authority of involvement in the latest series of North Sinai attacks that targeted Egyptian police and military personnel.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Malaky told Russia Today channel Saturday that West Bank-based authority has evidences of Hamas’s implication in North Sinai attacks Wednesday, saying “the Palestinian Authority is convinced that Hamas is involved in Sinai attacks[…]Cairo informed Ramallah and other parties that there is evidence of the movement’s involvement in attacks on the military and police forces in North Sinai.”
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said that Fatah’s accusations are “groundless,” adding that “the authority is making itself an enemy of another Palestinian party.
On Wednesday, a series of militant attacks targeted 15 checkpoints in North Sinai; clashes broke out between militants of Islamic State affiliate and Egyptian military forces, leading to killing more than 100 militants and 17 military personnel.
Since the attacks, Egypt’s armed forces have launched a wide-scale operation against the militants’ hotbeds in restive North Sinai, killing 205 “terrorists” over the past three days, according to a statement from Egypt’s Armed Forces.
Spokesperson of Hamas’ military arm Qassam Brigades Abu Obaida denied similar Israeli accusations claiming that members of the brigades participated in the North Sinai attacks. Israeli Major General Yoav Mordechai has accused Hamas of providing the Sinai militants with weapons to launch 1 July attacks, and aid their casualties, Haaretz reported Friday.
Palestinian factions – Hamas and Fatah- have been at odds since the elections of 2006; both sides claimed their own government: one in Fatah-controlled West Bank and the second in Hamas-controlled Gaza strip.
Although the two reached reconciliation and agreed on a unity government in April, the differences reemerged between them after a two-month war with Israel.