Hamas threatened to retaliate against Egypt after an Egyptian court added it to the list of terror organizations banned in the country.
Senior Hamas leader Salah Bardawil stated on the terror group’s Alresalah news site that Hamas “will not allow the Egyptian regime to touch the Palestinian people badly,” stressing that the terror organization will “react to any aggression in the same way it reacts to Israel,” namely, plaguing it with terror attacks.
“Hamas will not be subject to the mercy of the Egyptian judges or politicians,” Bardawil added. “The Egyptian regime must not cross the lines.”
“Gaza is not like Libya, and those threatening us will lose their people and nation,” said Bardawil, alluding to Egypt’s air assault on Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in Libya last month in retaliation for their beheading of 21 Christian Copt Egyptians.
He reiterated Hamas’s stance that Egypt was no longer “an honest mediator in terms of the internal Palestinian reconciliation.” Hamas made a similar statement previously regarding Egypt serving as a mediator between Hamas and Israel, a role it had filled in the past.
This Hamas statement essentially leaves the Palestinian Authority (PA) in disarray. Hamas, PA head Abbas’ Fatah party and the various other Palestinian factions had made an attempt at internal reconciliation, but did not succeed. With no mediation, they appear to be on the cusp of civil war, as the level of factional violence has risen tremendously in recent weeks.
Bardawil also called on the “Arab and Islamic nations” to rise against this decision, but he did not clarify whom he was addressing and what he expected them to do.
Egypt Decision Hinders ‘Palestinian Cause’
Senior Islamic Jihad leader Khalid Batsh joined Bardawil in decrying the Egyptian ruling, saying it harms joint Egyptian-Palestinian national security.
Batsh said that the Islamic Jihad terror organization endeavors to fix the relations between Egypt and the Palestinians. The relationship deteriorated following the fall of former Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader who was backed by Hamas and is now considered a state enemy in Egypt.
“This ruling against Hamas does not meet with the aspirations of the Arab and Islamic nations, who have been biased to the Palestinian cause,” said Batsh.
The Palestinian factions “will all be denied their right to resist by the Egyptians” in the wake of this decision, Batsh lamented. “We want Egypt to play a leading role in supporting the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian national projects, which looks forward to freedom and ending the occupation.”
The Palestinian factions defend the Arab and Islamic nations, Batsh claimed, calling on Egypt to reconsider its decision.
Egypt accused Hamas of involvement in the smuggling of weapons through underground tunnels into the Sinai Peninsula and of actively attacking Egyptian military targets.
The Egyptian army launched a broad campaign to destroy the Hamas smuggling tunnels and to create a buffer zone between Egypt and Gaza, destroying hundreds of Palestinian homes in the process.
This latest court decision could harm Hamas financially and hinder its diplomatic efforts.
By: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel