Hamas helps Egypt in hunt for Sinai terrorists
Hamas announced Thursday that it was doing its utmost to help the Egyptian authorities capture the terrorists who killed 16 Egyptian border guards in Sinai on August 5.
The announcement came as Palestinians in the Gaza Strip reported that Hamas security forces have rounded up a number of suspects belonging to extremist Islamic groups in the context of efforts to solve the case.
The statement also came amid reports that Hamas and the Egyptians have formed a joint security committee to investigate the terrorist attack.
“We are doing everything we can to help Egypt in gathering information and carrying out other security measures to reveal the identity of the perpetrators of the massacre,” said Ehab Ghissin, spokesman of the Hamas-run Interior Ministry.
Coordination between Hamas and the Egyptian authorities was taking place “on all levels” to solve the case and bring the perpetrators to trial, he said.
Ghissin said that the coordination between the two sides came after all investigations showed that the terrorists did not come from the Gaza Strip.
A Hamas official claimed on Thursday that Israel had warned the Egyptians about the Sinai attack 72 hours before it took place. The official quoted Egyptian security sources as saying that Israel rejected Egypt’s demand for additional details, including the identity of the attackers and the group behind them.
The official also quoted the sources as saying that investigations had thus far shown that the terrorists came from Sinai and that no Palestinians were involved in the killing of the Egyptian soldiers and the attempt to force the Israeli border at Kerem Shalom.
Meanwhile, Hamas security forces have detained dozens of members of radical Islamic groups in the Gaza Strip as part of the movement’s effort to help the Egyptians lay their hands on the terrorists, sources in the Gaza Strip said.
The clampdown is being carried out in coordination with Egyptian intelligence officers who were sent to the Gaza Strip following the Sinai attack, the sources added.