The level of absurdity in Egypt currently knows no limitations, and it is for this reason alone that I will mention only one particular absurdity that caught my attention. The Al-Ahram newspaper published a report on 25 October under the following headline: “Egyptian security forces discover a plan between the Brotherhood and Hamas to break into courtroom to free Morsi”.
The news report included the following paragraph:
Security forces have recently managed to stop an armed militia group affiliated with Hamas and sponsored by armed Salafist groups in the Sinai that was planning to storm the location of President Mohamed Morsi’s trial and liberate him. The group intended to detonate bombs within the courtroom using sophisticated RPG weaponry. The high-level security office also predicted that a series of terrorist explosions would coincide at the time of the hearing in a number of Egyptian provinces in an effort to distract security forces on this day. The Brotherhood’s long-term goal is to defeat the state apparatus.
I was initially prepared to hold off on making any comments on this news story, which is a political statement disguised as a news report. This is apparent from the headline, which infers that the security forces uncovered a collaborative effort between Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood to storm into the court and free Dr Morsi. At the same time, the text of the article discusses Salafist sponsorship and interests in this plot. Meanwhile, the security forces claim to have foiled this scheme from becoming a reality. Under normal circumstances, this would mean that they would be willing to publish the names of the culprits in question; however, I did not read the mention of a single name, nor did I see a single piece of information that confirms that any such schemes have been uncovered or stopped. And yet, there are two things that were mentioned that I could not help but notice. The first is the idea of breaking into a courtroom to free Dr Morsi and the second is the fact that Hamas is allegedly involved in the matter. To me, that seems as the most absurd claim in this entire aforementioned scenario.
According to what was published by the Egyptian newspapers, Dr Morsi’s hearing will be secured by over twenty thousand police troops as well as armed units both on the ground and in the air, which means that any potential attempt to storm the courtroom would be met by an armed clash with the police and the army. This could potentially lead to a war whose range only God would know. This is a suicidal mission that I do not think any sane person would dare to venture on. What I am failing to comprehend though is the depth of the imagination of the individual behind this “liberation” scenario and how any attempt to free Dr Morsi could confront Egyptian forces from both the police and the military in a potential war. This reminded me of my comedic sketch that was inspired by another headline published by Al-Ahram on 22 July, where I discussed the former president’s plan to run the Egyptian state from the Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque. The news report left us with this final suspicion and if it were true, then I believe we are dealing with a true mystery mostly because the Rabaa Al-Adawiya mosque is under restoration and because the police have prevented anyone from gathering in the square. Thus, it would be rather amusing to view the militias responsible for freeing the former president, as they carry him through the streets of Nasr City, looking for another mosque from which he can run the state!
Even if we decide to dismiss this issue entirely, we must keep in mind that inserting Hamas’ name into this equation is no laughing matter. This puzzling attitude suggests that Egypt’s slandering of the most significant Palestinian resistance movement is part of a greater strategic policy.
This stance is both suspicious and surprising for many reasons, including:
Despite the tremendous amount of articles that are being published in the Egyptian media on a daily basis, which allegedly expose Hamas’ hostile plans for Egypt, no measures have been taken to eliminate this threat by putting one of the group’s leaders on trial. The aim of this media campaign is merely to distort the image of Hamas in the eyes of the Egyptian public, while also spreading hatred among the people.
There has always been an open line of communication between Hamas’ leadership in the Gaza Strip and the Egyptian intelligence. The Egyptian intelligence is responsible for maintaining this communication and it was created specifically so that the Egyptian authorities would remain aware of every component of its relationship with Hamas. In the history of this relationship, there has yet to be an instance in which the Egyptian intelligence has received a demand from Hamas like those that are being portrayed in the news.
In fact, the Vice President of the Political Bureau for Hamas, Dr Moussa Abu-Marzouq, resides permanently in Cairo and he is well known to virtually every prominent official in Egypt. Abu-Marzouq is in a prime position to make any calls in front of any governmental headquarters or offices in Egypt and he would also be the prime suspect faced with any of the alleged suspicions or accusations facing the movement in Egypt. Yet, none of the things mentioned above have happened up until now. What makes this situation even harder to explain is that Abu-Marzouq is in constant communication with intelligence officials in charge of Hamas’ file in Egypt.
I have yet to ask myself how Hamas’ militias are to make their way from Gaza to Tora in southern Cairo, where Dr Morsi’s trial will be held, or how they plan to storm the prison and free Dr Morsi. Nor have I begun to deliberate how they plan to cross a distance of approximately 500 kilometres to reach their goal, carrying various forms of military hardware, without anyone stopping them. I do not even bother to ask these questions because this situation leaves no room for questions. The goal here is to poison the atmosphere in Egypt and nothing more. Some of the confusion that is felt and the suspicions that are aroused by these words can be dispelled if we ask ourselves the following questions:
Who truly benefits from tarnishing the image of Hamas and the Palestinian resistance? Who truly benefits from destroying the tunnels in Gaza? And who really benefits from the siege?
This is a translation of the Arabic text published in Shorouk Newspaper on 3 November, 2103
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.