Hamas accuses Egypt of firing at Gaza outposts
The Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas, has accused Egypt’s army soldiers of opening fire at the Palestinian security outposts in the besieged Gaza Strip.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Gaza’s Interior Ministry said the Egyptian military fired at Gazan security outposts in an area, which borders Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, according to the Gazan ministry.
The ministry condemned “the Egyptian army for firing this morning directly at two positions along the southern Gaza border,” adding, “It was without justification, and there had been no incursion from the Palestinian side.”
Hamas further urged the Egyptian government to launch an immediate investigation into the incident.
The development comes after an Egyptian court recently blacklisted the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, as a “terrorist” organization over the resistance group’s alleged involvement in recent attacks against Egypt’s security forces.
Hamas has censured Cairo over the move, saying, “We reject the Egyptian court’s decision against Qassam Brigades. It is a political, dangerous decision that serves only the Zionist occupation.”
Following the ouster of Egypt’s former president, Mohamed Morsi, in July 2013, relations between the Egyptian government and Hamas strained.
Egypt has stepped up destruction of cross-border tunnels into Gaza since the military-backed government came to power in Cairo last year. The tunnels are the only lifeline for Palestinians living under the Israeli siege.
In early January, Egyptian army sources said the military began operations to increase the size of the existing 500-meter buffer zone along the border with Gaza to a full kilometer.
The Cairo authorities decided to create the buffer zone after deadly attacks in the Sinai Peninsula that targeted more than 30 Egyptian soldiers in October 2014.