An Egyptian newspaper has published accusations linking Hamas to a spate of violence in Egypt stretching back to the country’s Arab Spring revolution.
The allegations come from former interior minister Mansour al-Essawy. Essawy served in the Hosni Mubarak government which was overthrown during that revolution. So while he has a motive to add nuance to the narratives surrounding the rioting – to say nothing of implicitly trying to justify the government’s heavy-handed response – he’s not the only one in Egypt suddenly negative about the Iran-backed terror group:
Since the beginning of the Egyptian revolution, Hamas has been perceived as co-responsible for some of the lawlessness that has occurred in Egypt. According to some opinion polls, many Egyptians believe it has become a burden on Egypt, with the group being transformed from being a “thorn in Israel’s side”, as former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon once described it, into being one in Egypt’s side…
A long list of accusations has been made against Hamas, including the security threat represented by the underground tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. A special government department was created under the Hamas government in Gaza to collect revenues of more than $7 billion every year, according to estimates by Egyptian intelligence, as a result of traffic through these tunnels. The latter have developed into a way out from the Israeli siege, with black-market trading leading to the smuggling of commodities such as petrol and diesel fuel, cars and household products, and even jihadists and Egyptian military uniforms.
The Egyptian army is locked in a kind of media cold war with Hamas. Egyptian security officers blame the group for facilitating and conducting terrorist operations on Egyptian soil, and have been steadily leaking as much to Egyptian outlets.
[Photo: Mariam Soliman / Wiki Commons]