The deputy chief of Hamas’ political bureau, Musa abu-Marzouq, has said that there is no crisis between his movement and Egypt and denied that he had been asked to leave Cairo. He confirmed that the official relationship between Hamas and the Egyptians has not stopped and still continues.
Abu-Marzouq told a London based newspaper that it was impossible for Hamas to harm any Egyptian soldiers. “We do not have any interest in causing problems for the Palestinians inside Egypt,” he said. “Despite the massive attack on Hamas, none of its members have committed any felony or been convicted by the public prosecution office.”
Referring to the security chaos in Sinai, Abu-Marzouq said that the “smuggling of drugs and humans there is a result of the area having been opened to the Israelis, whose collaborators, connected to Mossad, have been recently detained.”
Abu-Marzouq noted that the Rafah crossing is the only Gaza terminal to the outside world. “Therefore, stability is Sinai is in our favour and a security breakdown there causes massive harm to us,” he said.
Commenting on whether the relationship between Hamas and the Egyptian authorities had been affected after the removal of President Mohamed Morsi, the Hamas leader, who is living in Cairo, said, “absolutely not, there is not any crisis between us and there is nothing that spoils the relationship between us.”
He added that “Egyptian officials clearly know that Hamas is completely innocent of the allegations that it was accused of.”
“For years, we have been dealing with a certain party in Egypt,” he continued, “official contacts started during the reign of Hosni Mubarak and they continue today.” Abu-Marzouq confirmed that contacts developed during Morsi’s reign continued after his removal.
Regarding the demolition of the smuggling tunnels, Abu-Marzouq said, “definitely, this negatively affects the Gaza Strip. An alternative mechanism, which guarantees continuous flow of goods to the Strip in order to avoid falling into a humanitarian crisis, has to be offered.”
He noted that the tunnels have become the basic source of people’s livelihoods in the absence of legal terminals which could fulfil their needs.
Abu-Marzouq said that the 1.7million residents were obliged to defend themselves and their lives by sustaining their livelihoods through the smuggling tunnels. “People took this path as the only available solution to the harsh crisis caused by the Israeli siege on the Strip.
Abu-Marzouq explained how the rate at which goods flowed through the tunnels had changed during different periods of Egyptian rulers, “Gaza has been dependent on goods smuggled through the tunnels since the time of Hosni Mubarak, then during the time of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces and until today.”
He denied the claims that the flow of goods through tunnels increased during Morsi’s reign. “Closure of the tunnels had started during Morsi’s reign,” he said.
Commenting on claims that smuggling fuel into Gaza had caused the fuel crisis in Egypt he said, “this is illogical because Gaza’s fuel consumption does not exceed 500,000 litres a day, while Egypt’s consumption exceeds 33million litres a day.”
He asserted that Hamas had increased efforts to reduce Gaza’s dependency on Egyptian fuel and had succeeded when it obtained fuel from Qatar. “But, unfortunately, only one third of the amount reached Gaza, the other two thirds are still in storage at the Suez Canal,” he said.
“The crisis in Egypt has been caused by other factors not related to Gaza,” he added.