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Sunday, January 30, 2011

What Hamas is doing in Egypt

Palestine Press Agency, which is rabidly anti-Hamas but whose reporting has generally panned out as true, is reporting exactly what Hamas is doing to take advantage of the chaos in Egypt:

Special units of the Qassam Brigades of Hamas infiltrated through the tunnels deployed on the border two days ago to the city of Rafah in Egypt and then to the towns of Sheikh Zuwaid and El-Arish to support the Sinai Bedouin attacking the centers of the Egyptian security; [the Bedouin represent] the strategic depth of the Hamas movement in the Sinai.

A number of cars in the Sinai are filled by Hamas with weapons smuggled [from Gaza to Egypt] through the tunnels: mortars, RPGs, and packages of homemade explosives, such as those used in the bombing of Alexandria, in addition to a number of hand grenades, and these are used against the security forces and supporting the Egyptian Sinai Bedouin in the eradication of the ruling system in Egypt.

A large amount of Hamas members in civilian clothes have already passed through the Rafah crossing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through to Cairo, with the help of bribed state security officers, where they seek cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to attack the Egyptian prisons, where there are Hamas prisoners. Hamas is a natural extension of the Muslim Brotherhood.

There is talk about an escape of prisoners, including Ayman Nofal [jailed by Egypt in 2008] and others, and Hamas expects to return its prisoners to the Gaza Strip by Monday.

Aa state of overwhelming joy prevails in the ranks of Hamas from the influx of news from Egypt along with cheers and fireworks about the success of its own power to break points of the Egyptian security and access to the heart of Cairo. Hamas considers events in Cairo to end the rule of President Mubarak of Egypt, which they describe as a traitor and they wish the fall of the corrupt system in order for the Brotherhood to ascend to power.

It is worth mentioning the escape of the Palestinian King of Tunnels, nicknamed The Mouse, from the prison of Al-Arish, and his escape to Gaza after bloody battles fought by the Special Unit of the Qassam Brigades in collaboration with the Bedouins of the Sinai against the security forces of Egypt. In addition the al-Qassam Brigades kidnapped 3 Egyptian soldiers who seem to have been freed at the border of the city of Rafah.

Related, from Ma'an:
Palestinian sources say 12 people including Bedouins and Egyptian police officers were killed Saturday in clashes in the Sinai Peninsula, in what appeared to be an attempt by tribes in the region to take control of the swath of land south of the Egypt-Gaza border.

Gunshots were heard in the Egyptian city of Rafah as Bedouins attempted to occupy the border with Israel and the Gaza Strip. Rocket-propelled Grenades were fired at Egyptian soldiers, witnesses said, causing the near-total destruction of one home near the border area, and damage to a sector of the Gaza-Egypt border fence.

Gaza government police were said to have fixed the breach immediately, while eyewitnesses said police forces deployed across the border area on the Gaza side, in an apparent attempt to prevent Gaza residents from entering Egypt.

Armed groups attacked Egyptian police in the cities of Rafah and Sheikh Zweid, set fire to one police station and were behind the slaying of one officer identified as 36-year-old Jum’a Hamid after he was abducted along with two others, security sources said.

Security officials also said Bedouins were behind an earlier attack on an Egyptian security checkpoint, where four officers were killed and four others injured. All were transported to hospital in Al-Arish. Four banks and several state buildings were also reportedly set ablaze and looted.
The two stories are not inconsistent.